Why Indoctrination Is Evil, Whatever The Truth About God And Religion Is.

I wrote this as a comment in someone’s blog, and thought it was worth a blog:

A child cannot consent to an ideology being shoved on them at a young age for the same reason they cannot consent to sex.  Their brain is under-developed and they lack the maturity and reasoning skills to understand either. 

However while it’s considered downright evil to molest a child’s body, it’s been a time honored tradition for thousands of years to molest their brain long before they can ever consent or understand what is being done to them.

If you don’t get how this is egregious, imagine for a moment (in the original blog comment I was speaking to a christian) that someone had gotten to you when you were young and indoctrinated you into islam.  You would be convinced that there is no god but allah and mohammad is his prophet right now and you would almost certainly never stop believing that.  Because you didn’t make up your mind, your mind was made up for you.  You were molested in a horrible way before you had any defense against such ideas.  Just as if someone had opened up the back of your brain and programmed it like a computer, all of your religious freedom of thought was stripped away.

Why?  Because that’s how their parents did them, and their parents’ parents and so on for a thousand years.

It’s disgusting.  Especially when you consider that at least most religions must be lies, and most interpretations of the “true” religion would be false.  Indoctrination is the greatest force propping up falsehood (and blasphemy) in this world.

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About agnophilo

Nerd.
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163 Responses to Why Indoctrination Is Evil, Whatever The Truth About God And Religion Is.

  1. @agnophilo – That’s a lot to process.  So, instead of trying to give you a half-baked response that will sound stupid, I’m going to chew on it for a while.  (Seriously, I have been pondering the topic for the last few days..) 

  2. agnophilo says:

    @mynameisblueskye – Someone recently mirrored this blog on their site, you can do likewise if you want : D  Just gimme credit.

  3. mikenpeg says:

    I’m a Christian who was raised in an Amish community, but my husband and I left the Amish several years ago. We sufferedthe indoctrination you speak of, and it happens way too much in all kinds of religions. We were rebels and revolutionaries because we actually dared to question and think for ourselves. We still do, much to the dismay of the traditional church we are part of. (We don’t agree with everything, but that’s okay- why do we have to? It’s good for people who have no clue what they believe to have their bedrock rattled.) However, as a Christian- and please don’t crucify me for that 🙂 – I don’t think it’s wrong to PRESENT your faith to your children- afterall, it is a part of me, and I will share every other part of my lifewith my children.However, I agree that children should not be indoctrinated. My husband and I have already agreed that we will discourage our children from becoming baptized church members  as children/young teens, simply because we want them to be old enough and mature enough to understand the implications of adhering to something they may later decide not to believe in- thus, sparing them unnecessary guilt. I will give my children the freedom to be Christians, pray, and follow the Bible as young as they like, but I will make it clear to them that I would much rather see them not embrace faith than live a life of hypocrisy. 

  4. mikenpeg says:

    And by the way… my son’s first song was not Jesus Loves Me. It was, and still is “Rock You”, where we would change the words to ‘We will, we will bath you…feed you…catch you…tickle you” or whatever fit the moment. He loves it, and knows to go ‘oomp, oomp’ at the end of the line.  Shhhh… don’t tell my church. Or my Amish family members.

  5. agnophilo says:

    @mikenpeg – “I’m a Christian who was raised in an Amishcommunity, but my husband and I left the Amish several years ago. Wesufferedthe indoctrination you speak of, and it happens way too much inall kinds of religions. We were rebels and revolutionaries because weactually dared to question and think for ourselves. We still do, muchto the dismay of the traditional church we are part of. (We don’t agreewith everything, but that’s okay- why do we have to? It’s good forpeople who have no clue what they believe to have their bedrockrattled.)”Kudos for questioning your reality.  It’s something most people never really do.”However, as a Christian- and please don’t crucify me for that:)” I disagree with christians, but I don’t hate them or anything.”- I don’t think it’s wrong to PRESENT your faith to your children-afterall, it is a part of me, and I will share every other part of my lifewithmy children.”Are you going to share your sex life with your children?  It’s a part of you right, why not right?Of course you’re not going to share every part of your life with your children.  You never will.  The person they know will be a different person than the private person your husband knows.”However, I agree that children should not be indoctrinated.My husband and I have already agreed that we will discourage ourchildren from becoming baptized church members  as children/youngteens, simply because we want them to be old enough and mature enoughto understand the implications of adhering to something they may later decide not to believe in- thus, sparing them unnecessary guilt.” I respect that, but I don’t think you’re going far enough.”I willgive my children the freedom to be Christians, pray, and follow theBible as young as they like, but I will make it clear to them that Iwould much rather see them not embrace faith than live a life ofhypocrisy.”Your children will be free to be christians as young as they like.  A young child shouldn’t know about christ being the son of god any more than they should have a “personal relationship” with vishnu.  They should know about leggos and hide n’ seek.To expose a child to these beliefs deliberately is indoctrination, to present them as facts is dogma, and to tell them they will burn in hell if they don’t believe in it is child abuse.I’m not saying you’re evil or anything, this is just how I feel.

  6. agnophilo says:

    @mikenpeg – Haha.And it’s sung by a bunch of gay guys too, they’d probably blow a fuse if they knew.Well, I assume.  I don’t know the amish take on homosexuality.

  7. mikenpeg says:

    @agnophilo – Okay… I get where you’re coming from; but I think you’re taking my comments a little too far. First of all; you are correct- my sex life is not one I discuss freely with anyone- it is not a visible part of me that I display or talk about. My faith is. I was speaking of those things which I would freely discuss or share with anyone else which would seem very unnatural to hide or lie about to my children in order to not ‘indoctrinate’ them.   Compare it to my husband’s job. It will be impossible for my children to not know that their father HAS a job, and at least vaguely, the job description. But, although their father’s job affects them, and they may choose to follow in that profession, we will in no way place pressure on them to do so.  In that way, although I DO NOT intend to tell my innocent young children (who, as you may know, according to Christian beliefs are morally free from the burden of making, adult faith-based choices; something a lot of Christians ignore or pass over.) that they will “burn in hell”, or even present my faith as facts they must believe, I will also not hide from them things like going to church, reading the Bible, praying, conversation about beliefs,  and other activities I engage in. Most children are copycats to the point of wanting to ‘do what Mommy and Daddy do’ without understanding it at all, which is where my husband and I feel the lines are to be drawn. They can copy as much as we like- why would I deny my children that?- but we want to be careful to let them know they are under no obligation to do so, and that according to our beliefs, this kind of faith-based action is not necessary for them to become Christians- in fact, makes no difference for them. I still wouldn’t tell them they may not be “Christians” any more than I would tell them they may not play house. Children seldom take any kind of imitating too seriously; what may seem like great fun today will be gone tomorrow.  I wouln’t take a ‘commitment’ from a young child very seriously, but I still wouldn’t protest their play-acting it if it makes them happy to be like their parents if even for a few days.  In order for you to not ‘indoctrinate’ your children in like manner, you would have to hide/cover any opinions you may have about religion as well; since, if children are not allowed to know anything about their parents’ faith, they should also not know about their parents’ protests against faith. That would mean you may never speak against any religion in front of your children; you would have to pretend you are totally clueless. Unless your children are homeschooled, they will probably be in contact with other children from homes where religious practices are present– so, how exactly would you respond to your children’s questions? What if you have religious family, and they observe religious practices at weddings, etc?  In today’s world, there are so many different beliefs and religions, as well as people who are opposed to religion. Religion is part of my children’s surroundings and culture, whether I try to shield them from it or not. I would rather have my kids informed and open to diversity of beliefs; even those not my own. Estrangement and ignorance is never helpful; whether the position taken is one for or against religion. I can repect your  opinion- in fact, I can see you have given them a lot of thought. Obviously, we choose to disagree, which I have no problem with.:) Oh, and the Amish and homosexuality? Wow, yeah- let me just say most of them view gays as little more than deranged animals. They would certainly not associate with any homosexual person, or allow their children to come within 10 feet of them. I think that’s really sad- I don’t agree with the views of homosexuals, but I believe they should be treated fairly as equal human beings- they are people, too. Like you said about Christians– “disagree… but don’t hate them.”

  8. agnophilo says:

    @mikenpeg – “Okay… I get where you’re coming from; but I think you’re taking my comments a little too far.  Firstof all; you are correct- my sex life is not one I discuss freely withanyone- it is not a visible part of me that I display or talk about. Myfaith is. I was speaking of those things which I would freely discussor share with anyone else which would seem very unnatural to hide orlie about to my children in order to not ‘indoctrinate’ them.”   No, what you said is that you should share your faith with your children because you share every part of yourself with them.  I pointed out that this is not true, that you and every parent censor yourelves around your children until they are old enough to understand and handle certain things.  “Compareit to my husband’s job. It will be impossible for my children to notknow that their father HAS a job, and at least vaguely, the jobdescription.” If we’re talking about young kids I wouldn’t say it’s impossible.  By the time they get into their early teens it would be, but I’m more talking about young kids.”But, although their father’s job affects them, and theymay choose to follow in that profession, we will in no way placepressure on them to do so.”  Yeah but you’re not telling them “daddy goes off to work for x companies because god wants him to, and so he won’t burn in hell forever”.  If you were I would hold off for a few years, ya know?  Mundane facts are no more comparable to religious ideologies than they are to sex.  The effect they have on your children are dramatically different, and it’s not as if your children may grow up to believe daddy doesn’t have a job, or has a different job.  There’s no comparison.”In that way, although I DO NOT intend totell my innocent young children (who, as you may know, according toChristian beliefs are morally free from the burden of making, adultfaith-based choices; something a lot of Christians ignore or passover.) “I know some christians believe this, but does it say this in the bible anywhere?  I know one bit says you won’t get into heaven if you are within ten generations of someone born out of wedlock, which is horrible.”that they will “burn in hell”, or even present my faith as factsthey must believe”That is good.”I will also not hide from them things like going tochurch, reading the Bible, praying, conversation about beliefs,  andother activities I engage in.” When talking about young children, I think you ought to.  If I had a five year old I wouldn’t read my email to them or have them subscribe to this blog.  Why should a religious person do the equivalent?  The only reason I can think of is because that’s the way it’s been traditionally done, and because that’s the way religions traditionally maintain their numbers.”Most children are copycats to the pointof wanting to ‘do what Mommy and Daddy do’ without understanding it atall, which is where my husband and I feel the lines are to be drawn.They can copy as much as we like- why would I deny my children that?-but we want to be careful to let them know they are under no obligationto do so, and that according to our beliefs, this kind of faith-basedaction is not necessary for them to become Christians- in fact, makesno difference for them. I still wouldn’t tell them they may not be”Christians” any more than I would tell them they may not play house.”A kid play-reading the bible before they can read because mommy is doing it is one thing, a kid knowing the ideologies and theological beliefs is another.”Children seldom take any kind of imitating too seriously; what may seemlike great fun today will be gone tomorrow.  I wouln’t take a’commitment’ from a young child very seriously, but I still wouldn’tprotest their play-acting it if it makes them happy to be like theirparents if even for a few days.”Like I said, depends what you’re talking about.”In order for you to not’indoctrinate’ your children in like manner, you would have tohide/cover any opinions you may have about religion as well; since, ifchildren are not allowed to know anything about their parents’ faith,they should also not know about their parents’ protests against faith.”I totally agree.  My father was catholic, I went to a religious school and church for years, it took several years to wash that stuff out of my brain before I could actually form my own opinions on the matter.  My mom on the other hand was agnostic, and I found out… two years ago, when I was 20.  That’s how un-indoctrinated I was with regards to her attitudes.  How cool is that?”That would mean you may never speak against any religion in front ofyour children; you would have to pretend you are totally clueless.”Yup.  I intend to go as long as possible without expressing my views, when they ask me about different beliefs I will respond with facts.”Unless your children are homeschooled, they will probably be in contactwith other children from homes where religious practices are present–so, how exactly would you respond to your children’s questions? What ifyou have religious family, and they observe religious practices atweddings, etc?” With facts.  Tell them some people believe in this religion, this is a ceremony they do, this is a tradition, etc, etc.  I’d try not to go into too much detail with younger kids because concepts like heaven, hell, god is watching you etc will effect kids whether you endorse the idea or not.”In today’s world, there are so many differentbeliefs and religions, as well as people who are opposed to religion.Religion is part of my children’s surroundings and culture, whether Itry to shield them from it or not. I would rather have my kids informedand open to diversity of beliefs; even those not my own. Estrangementand ignorance is never helpful; whether the position taken is one foror against religion.”I’m not endorsing ignorance.  I think every child should be taught exhaustively about all religions when they’re old enough, just like I think they should get comprehensive sex ed.  When they’re old enough.  I’m no more going to tell a five year old why I’m an atheist than I’m going to tell them how to best stimulate the clitoris, and for several of the same reasons.  If a five year old hears that word and asks what it is, I will either tell them it’s grownup stuff, they’ll find out when they’re older, or tell them it’s a part of the body and nothing more.  But I’m not gonna whip out charts and diagrams, why should people do so with religious beliefs?”I can repect your  opinion- in fact, I can seeyou have given them a lot of thought. Obviously, we choose to disagree,which I have no problem with.:)”While we do disagree, I can say that your attitude about indoctrination and religious freedom is far better than that of most theists, who think automatically that if their parent treated them a certain way that that’s good, or if their culture doesn’t think it’s bad, then it’s not bad.  But most christians think nothing of indoctrination, and will tell their kids about heaven and hell for the same reason a parent whose parents beat the hell out of him will hit his own kids.”Oh, and the Amish andhomosexuality? Wow, yeah- let me just say most of them view gays aslittle more than deranged animals. They would certainly not associatewith any homosexual person, or allow their children to come within 10feet of them. I think that’s really sad- I don’t agree with the viewsof homosexuals, but I believe they should be treated fairly as equalhuman beings- they are people, too.” Well my respect for amish people in general just went down a bit.  If you were god, would you tell people that homosexuality is an abomination and you should kill gay people?”Like you said about Christians–“disagree… but don’t hate them.”I was homophobic when I was younger, I recognized it as wrong and grossly unfair to gay people and rid myself of it.  The trouble with christianity is that it endorses homophobia and anti-gay bigotry, so most christians don’t feel the need to rid themselves of their prejudice, and many embrace it as righteous.I really loathe faith.  Reason is superior in every way.

  9. tracezilla says:

    Just like people indoctrinating their kids to believe its a good thing to be members of the KKK or like-groups.I do agree with that, kids should be left alone until they’re older to make up their own minds.

  10. agnophilo says:

    @tracezilla@lovelyish – Nice to know you agree.  This is an oooold blog you dug up : )

  11. tracezilla says:

    @agnophilo – I know, you said so when you linked me to it. ^_~

  12. agnophilo says:

    @tracezilla@lovelyish – Yeah sorry, just got that.  Reading your response now.  Forgot, sorry.

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