Won't somebody please think of the children!
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11-05-2011, 02:52 AM
Won't somebody please think of the children!
I'm getting pretty fed up with being a quiet Atheist, especially as religion has had a jump start against science and reasoning for many years in a world without knowledge and with human nature naturaly asking questions before the answers were known some guy with a magic book has shaped the world myself and my children now live.

I say stop now.

We need to protect children from this today.

We need to debate religion, we need to clarify what is passive and what is harmful, we need to seperate the genuine from the greedy,we need to know who exactly is in a place of trust based on a lie and how can they then be trusted themselves.

But while we decide and debate i feel it is unfair to allow the children to be in the middle of deciet and mis-information.

Religion should be treated like any other harmful substance or content, adults only.
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11-05-2011, 03:46 PM
RE: Won't somebody please think of the children!
I think when it comes to children, the parents should have jurisdiction.

Peace and Love and Empathy,

Matt
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11-05-2011, 05:47 PM
RE: Won't somebody please think of the children!
(11-05-2011 03:46 PM)Ghost Wrote:  I think when it comes to children, the parents should have jurisdiction.

Peace and Love and Empathy,

Matt

Wait wait wait.

You're saying that the parents of a child have the right to teach them anything they want? That they can homeschool their kid and tell their child that blacks and immigrants are to be hated and persecuted? That the world is actually a computer simulation and the goal in life is to kill as many people as possible? That women should be raped at will because they are disposable objects?

It might not be legally wrong, but it is morally wrong.

I see religious childhood indoctrination as analogous to Nazi camps for children. Get em while they're young and ruin their lives.

I mean didn't you see the movie Jesus Camp? Is that not proof enough of the damage that a religious upbringing can cause?

"Ain't got no last words to say, yellow streak right up my spine. The gun in my mouth was real and the taste blew my mind."

"We see you cry. We turn your head. Then we slap your face. We see you try. We see you fail. Some things never change."
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11-05-2011, 06:50 PM
RE: Won't somebody please think of the children!
(11-05-2011 05:47 PM)Buddy Christ Wrote:  
(11-05-2011 03:46 PM)Ghost Wrote:  I think when it comes to children, the parents should have jurisdiction.

Peace and Love and Empathy,

Matt

Wait wait wait.

You're saying that the parents of a child have the right to teach them anything they want? That they can homeschool their kid and tell their child that blacks and immigrants are to be hated and persecuted? That the world is actually a computer simulation and the goal in life is to kill as many people as possible? That women should be raped at will because they are disposable objects?

It might not be legally wrong, but it is morally wrong.

I see religious childhood indoctrination as analogous to Nazi camps for children. Get em while they're young and ruin their lives.

I mean didn't you see the movie Jesus Camp? Is that not proof enough of the damage that a religious upbringing can cause?

Now that's what I call taking someones statement and twisting it until it pops like a ripe grape.
Do you really believe that all religous people teach their children that the atrocities in the bible should be followed? Do you think that all "indoctrination" is comparable to the movie "Jesus Camp"? Do you think a better solution is to police peoples beliefs?
There are extremes in all cases, but to say that raising a child with religion as a part of their lives is like a Nazi camp for children is not only narrow minded, but completely blind. I liken that to the blanket statement that atheists have no moral compass. It's as false as saying that all theists teach their kids that gays should be stoned to death. There are misguided people in both groups that may be morally corrupt, anti-gay, or whatever else, but to say that since some are, all must be is absurd.

So many cats, so few good recipes.
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11-05-2011, 07:22 PM
 
RE: Won't somebody please think of the children!
(11-05-2011 06:50 PM)Stark Raving Wrote:  Now that's what I call taking someones statement and twisting it until it pops like a ripe grape.

I think, while extreme, it's a realistic projection expounding on Ghost's blanket statement that parent's should have jurisdiction. He didn't set limits, he said basically parents should be able to do what they wish in rearing their child.
And Jesus Camp certainly provides an example of parents who would concur.


Personally, I like to be realistic. There are some whacked out people in this world. The tragedy being they also happen to be fertile, as well. Which means generational programming ensues so as to insure more of their kind for years to come.

That being said, the most populace religious cult on earth is Christianity. Islam is 2nd. Atheism, secularist idea's, etc... rank at about 4th if I'm not mistaken.
We're outnumbered, as it were. And when a fear paradigm has had a chance to cultivate itself for nearly 3 thousand years, and people believe their soul not only is something that without question does exist and is in peril if they don't go in lock step with the monotheistic programming they've been raised to believe is the only one true bit of good news in the world, it's not anything that's going to be altered by railing against the machine. Instead, a campaign to stop that kind of programming will just feed it. Because those who oppose it will be condemned as agents of Satan, proof of whatever it is those faithful believe is there to lead them astray from their faith and thus condemn their soul.
The resistance would be concentrated and committed against changing any mind that first comports itself to accept such nonsense as absolute inerrant irrefutable truth.

We see what's happening to atheist billboards and bus ad's , as a subtle media campaign starts to take hold in various area's of the U.S.
Christianity, not an indictment here of all Christians, is not tolerant of dissent. It's not a philosophy that espouses freedom, or free will. Instead, it condemns those avenues of expression and choice afforded to the individual as vehicles that are first responsible for the damnation of the whole human race. And thus, salvation depends on renouncement of freedom and the exercise of the free will not to accept what's holy writ per the law of redemption.

So hoping to reach children and lead them out of the darkness that is self-deprecation afforded any faith system, primarily Christianity because it is the most populace cult in the world, is folly. One would die jousting the windmill, before they'd see one shred of success.

Instead, if a person so inclined is a parent, teach your own children what you wish others would learn so that child can go forth among their peers and live the example that will lead those who's minds are open to it, toward their own exodus from the chains fable afford. Because approaching it as if it's a battle to be won, with a strategy to overcome what predominates peoples psyche by their own free will, guarantees you'll lose the war, the battle, even the skirmish.

Live your philosophy. It's the best way to thwart those who begin their day terrified of your freedom in choosing not to hold to their faith. Wink
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11-05-2011, 08:25 PM (This post was last modified: 11-05-2011 08:28 PM by Buddy Christ.)
RE: Won't somebody please think of the children!
(11-05-2011 06:50 PM)Stark Raving Wrote:  
(11-05-2011 05:47 PM)Buddy Christ Wrote:  
(11-05-2011 03:46 PM)Ghost Wrote:  I think when it comes to children, the parents should have jurisdiction.

Peace and Love and Empathy,

Matt

Wait wait wait.

You're saying that the parents of a child have the right to teach them anything they want? That they can homeschool their kid and tell their child that blacks and immigrants are to be hated and persecuted? That the world is actually a computer simulation and the goal in life is to kill as many people as possible? That women should be raped at will because they are disposable objects?

It might not be legally wrong, but it is morally wrong.

I see religious childhood indoctrination as analogous to Nazi camps for children. Get em while they're young and ruin their lives.

I mean didn't you see the movie Jesus Camp? Is that not proof enough of the damage that a religious upbringing can cause?

Now that's what I call taking someones statement and twisting it until it pops like a ripe grape.

Well I noticed that Ghost was the one who said it, so I took the liberty of taking it to the extreme.

(11-05-2011 06:50 PM)Stark Raving Wrote:  Do you really believe that all religous people teach their children that the atrocities in the bible should be followed? Do you think that all "indoctrination" is comparable to the movie "Jesus Camp"? Do you think a better solution is to police peoples beliefs?

To the first question, yes. No parent ever actually goes through the Bible with their child saying, well this should be followed, but not this. Children are taught over and over again that the Bible is the infallible word of God and must be followed to get into heaven. The entire Bible and all its atrocities.

To the second question, yes. The child may not accept the teachings as fully as the children in God's Army, but the seed is planted. The child is born wanting to please their parents. The parents identify as Christians, and so the child lives his life with Christian values, building an inherent rejection of science and open-mindedness that must be untaught when they reach adulthood or else becomes ingrained as part of that person's belief system. I believe infecting a child with Christianity will ruin any chance that child has for a decent life.

And finally, not necessarily "policing beliefs" ...this isn't Orwell's thought crime here... but if you observe that a child has beliefs and actions that unorthodox to the point of being harmful to society, then yes I believe something should be done to correct this. If you're a kindergarten teacher and you notice a child who smiles whiles stabbing scissors into the eyes of dolls, you should be obligated to inform someone that this child isn't functioning properly.

I don't have the same tolerance for theists as most. Every religious person I've known in my life has openly hated gays, judged others who were religious, and closed their ears to the voice of the opposition. I'm tired of the movement to teach creationism in school by people that have never studied evolution OR creationism; the people who are merely parroting the views they were taught as a child. These are the same people burning books and terrorizing abortion clinics, all because they never bothered to question why they believe what they learned from their parents.

"Ain't got no last words to say, yellow streak right up my spine. The gun in my mouth was real and the taste blew my mind."

"We see you cry. We turn your head. Then we slap your face. We see you try. We see you fail. Some things never change."
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12-05-2011, 08:41 AM
RE: Won't somebody please think of the children!
Hey, Stark.

Word.

Hey, Buddy.

Quote:Well I noticed that Ghost was the one who said it, so I took the liberty of taking it to the extreme.

Oh look at that. You're mocking me. What a fresh change. Thank you for that. That just tickled me to laughter.

Quote:You're saying that the parents of a child have the right to teach them anything they want?

Actually, I was quite explicit about what I was saying. I used these things called words and I arranged them into this thing called a sentence so that meaning could be ascertained via the relationship of the words. I think it went something like, "I think when it comes to children, the parents should have jurisdiction." But what you said is just as good. How about this? Why don't you just write all of my posts from now on? That way I don't have to bore anyone with what I think, you can just tell people what I think. Don't worry about asking me first, you can just make any old thing up. Anything at all. It doesn't even need to be accurate. Sound good to you?

I said JURISDICTION. Parents should make the decisions about their child's upbringing. If you have an issue, take it up with the parent. The conversation should occur between adults because children are cognitively incapable of being a part of that kind of conversation.

My friend's wife works in child services. She turns into a completely different person when she starts to talk about the things that she encounters in her day. She goes from a cheerful woman to someone on the edge. She can relate all manner of horror stories about child abuse and neglect and let me tell you something, bringing up a child in a loving Christian household is nothing like it. Child abuse is not a function of religion. It is something that is without cultural border and I find it perverse to hijack it to make a cheap point.

Everything else you said is just demonstrably false, inflammatory and outrageous. It is to be ignored by the reasonable. My only hope is that you don't actually believe it because that possibility saddens me.

Peace and Love and Empathy,

Matt
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13-05-2011, 01:58 PM
RE: Won't somebody please think of the children!
(11-05-2011 02:52 AM)Timlin Wrote:  I'm getting pretty fed up with being a quiet Atheist, especially as religion has had a jump start against science and reasoning for many years in a world without knowledge and with human nature naturaly asking questions before the answers were known some guy with a magic book has shaped the world myself and my children now live.

I say stop now.

We need to protect children from this today.

We need to debate religion, we need to clarify what is passive and what is harmful, we need to seperate the genuine from the greedy,we need to know who exactly is in a place of trust based on a lie and how can they then be trusted themselves.

But while we decide and debate i feel it is unfair to allow the children to be in the middle of deciet and mis-information.

Religion should be treated like any other harmful substance or content, adults only.

From what you've said, this sounds like censorship, which is something that I do not agree with in general. I think that parents should be free to teach whatever tradition/religion they like to their children. But, that being said, I believe that children should be exposed to all different kinds of traditions and belief systems in school from a young age. Call it a culture class or something. Then it doesn't matter which religion the children have been indoctrinated into because they will learn that their religion is not the only one, and that it may not even be the "right" one.

People will never develop an acceptance or a tolerance for others' beliefs (or lack thereof) if they are never exposed to them. People fear the unknown, so by making many different religions/traditions/beliefs known to children, they will learn not to fear others who do not believe what they believe. Who knows, perhaps a positive exposure to different religions will prompt some children to want to learn more about others' religions (or even their own) and we all know what that usually leads to Tongue

"Remember, my friend, that knowledge is stronger than memory, and we should not trust the weaker." - Dr. Van Helsing, Dracula
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13-05-2011, 02:38 PM
RE: Won't somebody please think of the children!
How do we shelter children from bad ideas from their parents, friends, and media? And... how do we decide what ideas are good and bad. Extreme points of view are easy to spot but where do we draw the line? Plus, ideas are always evolving. In 1925 would the majority of people have thought National Socialism was going to be an ideology that was going to become the poster child of evil government for many future generations? Finally, as it stands, the majority of people still think atheism is the idea that is most dangerous to today's children. Be careful what you ask for.

We all enter this world in the same way: naked; screaming; soaked in blood. But if you live your life right, that kind of thing doesn't have to stop there.
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16-05-2011, 02:21 PM (This post was last modified: 16-05-2011 02:24 PM by Ghost.)
RE: Won't somebody please think of the children!
Hey, SecularStudent.

I agree 100% with your assessment, but as far as your solution goes, is that not what people call 'teaching the controversy'? Ie, giving all sides. My understanding is that there is resistance on both sides to that because both sides claim the objective truth and neither side wants to give any credence to the other. In short, neither side wants their children learning “that shit” because they might believe it instead of what their parents believe. I mean, as far as I'm concerned, not teaching everything is a retarded idea, but I'm not the president of education.

Hey, Fear Culture.

Fear Culture Wrote:How do we shelter children from bad ideas from their parents, friends, and media?

Short answer: we can't.

There are many development theories, but one idea that repeats in a few of them is the common sense notion that our development is guided, at least in part, by our surroundings. For example:
-Learning Theory: Bandura's social cognitive theory discusses reciprocal determinism in which development is guided by the triangle of bidirectional influence between three elements; the personal (biology, beliefs, expectations), the behavioural (actions) and the environmental (other people and surroundings).
-Cognitive Theory: Vygotsky's sociocultural theory suggests that of importance are the social interactions with adults (also peers and older children) that structure a child's learning, what Vygotsky calls scaffolding.
-Systems Theory: Bronfenbrenner's bioecological systems theory suggests that individuals are exposed to and their development is influenced by, nested social contexts: the personal (biology), nested within the mesosystem (family, school, religious affiliation, neighbourhood), nested within the exosystem (socio-economics), nested within the macrosystem (cultural context).

All of this is to say that we can’t shield them from these things during their development because to large degree, these things are responsible for their development.

Add onto this the common sense understanding that we face everyday that information comes at us from all angles. The old argument of how can a parent hope to compete with MTV has been outdone by orders of magnitude by the Internet. Even small children are capable of using a computer to access near limitless online content. The sum total of human knowledge is at their fingertips.

So long answer back to short answer, we swim in the influence of our surroundings be they family, other people, institutions, cultural notions, etc, and we cannot effectively halt the influence of any of them. We can try things like home schooling, but that is not an air tight seal from the rest of the world, it just removes the child from direct contact with the influence of school. But information is adept at moving laterally. Most importantly, short of making children wards of the state, there is little to no chance of removing children from the family context and by extension, the friends, relatives and institutions that the children have access to via the parents.

Fear Culture Wrote:And... how do we decide what ideas are good and bad. Extreme points of view are easy to spot but where do we draw the line?

An excellent point. One thing that is unavoidable is that if one culture decides for another, then they will decide what is best from their own perspective, not the recipient’s perspective. Whenever I see this idea of determining for others what they should and should not do and should and should not believe, I cannot help but turn to the absolute nightmare of the Canadian Indian residential school system that should stand as a shining beacon of how dangerous this idea is. Unavoidably so.

That being said, I am of the school that views culture in terms of Universal Darwinism. That it is composed of units of cultural transmission (memes) that are subject to selection. One of the laws of Darwinism is that any replicator unit is either adaptive, maladaptive or exaptive. Maladaptive replicators are self-eliminating. In the sense of Dawkins notion of the Selfish Gene (or selfish replicator), we are simply survival machines for replicators. Maladaptive replicators are self-eliminating because they hinder their survival machine’s survivability and lead to their destruction. Ie, through the process of self-elimination, our maladaptive memes can eliminate us. So while I am a staunch subjectivist, within the context of this model there are some ideas that are observably maladaptive because we can see them disappearing or creating the conditions through which they'll disappear. All of this is to say that there are some ideas that are dangerous, and while I do not in any way support the war being waged on the battlefield of children's minds, I do recognise that some ideas "need" (assuming our existence has value) to be eliminated. Another possibility is that all we can do is let them run their course and accept the damage they will inexorably cause during self-elimination as the price of the idea's extinction.

I feel that without doubt, some of these dangerous ideas exist within the theistic meme pool, but without doubt, some of these same ideas exist within the secular meme pool. If we eradicate religion as a whole, not only do we possibly throw out the baby with the bathwater (because religion's success alone is proof of the presence of adaptive memes within the meme pool) but we might blindly consider the problem taken care of and not look to clean the dirty water of the secular world.

So the problem is massive because as you say, who then gets to be the arbiter of what stays and what goes and how on earth can we expect such an arbiter to be unbiased when they themselves are immersed in their own cultural context and how do we extricate the maladaptive memes from these meme pools without harming the hosts? More importantly, can these maladaptive memes even be extruded from these cultural systems?

My guess is that the only real solution is conversation. No. Not conversation. Dialogue. Dialogue that is free of recrimination and demands. A dialogue that is simply about learning from one another so that each group can make informed decisions about whether to be mutable or obstinate. Perhaps after this dialogue, obstinacy will be selected as a course of action and in retaliation, violence be declared the only solution. Then again, perhaps both sides will take unilateral steps to remedy things. But I don't see that happening without the dialogue, I don't see how to eliminate maladaptive ideas in an unbiased and educated way (because we can never guess the effect of disarticulating a node from any given system), I don't see how it can be done without harming the hosts and I don't particularly relish the idea of waiting around for them to self-eliminate. So all told, it's a big ol stinky shit pie and we all gotta take a bite.

Fear Culture Wrote:Plus, ideas are always evolving. In 1925 would the majority of people have thought National Socialism was going to be an ideology that was going to become the poster child of evil government for many future generations?

Well said.

I had a discussion about engineering last night and I made this point. The gene that gives many blacks in the so-called African Diaspora immunity from the malaria parasite is also, in its double recessive form, the gene that causes sickle cell anaemia. So say we eradicate that gene to eradicate sickle cell, trusting our drugs to deal with the parasite, and then something happens to the drug supply. The idea of punctuated equilibrium (that environmental conditions can change rapidly, meaning that the adaptiveness, maladaptiveness or exaptiveness of traits and ideas can alter just as fast [picture the asteroid that killed the dinosaurs. Suddenly, being a mammal was about the best thing you could be]) means that our meddling may have unintended consequences down the line.

Then there's the diversity argument (which I'll just let represent itself here).

Fear Culture Wrote:Finally, as it stands, the majority of people still think atheism is the idea that is most dangerous to today's children. Be careful what you ask for.

Again. Very well said. I cannot imagine that a residential school system for Atheists would be a very pleasant place.

That being said, should Theists ever band together and decide to create such a school system, then I will most assuredly take this course of action.

Peace and Love and Empathy,

Matt
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