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Old 11-06-2013, 08:08 AM
Location: Missouri, USA
4,415 posts, read 2,994,696 times
Reputation: 2043


Youtube seems to be the swarming ground of countless bored, angry, young atheist teenagers.

That they are young teenagers can be perceived by inability to spell, type in complete sentences, or make coherent statements.

While attempting to convince some of them that banning all religion would be unwise (partially because the people who would create such a ban would be shot) I actually heard some reasonable ideas from a few people (None of the providers of the reasonable ideas had advocated the banning of all religion. The people who had advocated the banning of religion had probably just forgotten to take their ADD medication/bipolar disorder medication/whatever).

Anyway...some of them thought that parents tend to get a free pass on mental abuse, if the mental abuse is associated with religious teachings.

What I might qualify as abuse (and I've neither ever been religious nor had children) would be pressuring and terrifying a child to have a religious belief.

No, "This might be true" or "This is what I believe." However, "THIS IS TRUE AND IF YOU DON'T BELIEVE IT YOU WILL BURN" might count as abuse if taught to young enough youth.

Do you think this type of "THIS IS TRUE AND IF YOU DON'T BELIEVE IT YOU WILL BURN" should be legally punished?

I am not sure it could be done now, at least not in the United States. Too many people would see it as a threat to their beliefs. Even the relaxed Christians who think most of the Bible is metaphors might, and several atheists would be worried about their theistic buddies being legally punished for talking about their beliefs to their children. (I know that'd be a concern of mine. I'd be very concerned that someone who doesn't deserve it would be legally punished by a bureaucratic government for telling their child the wrong thing).

But what about in more secular societies? Or maybe in the U.S., if the population could somehow be convinced this is a good idea? Do you think the government goes to easy on mental abuse of children related to religion, and if so, do you think it should be legally punished more often? How? What types of actions of parents would be punished?

They talk about it in this video and come to the conclusion they don't know what to do about it, exactly, but the male speaker was a Southern Baptist for several years, and was training to become a member of the clergy, so he presumably knows more of what he's talking about than I do:

Is religion child abuse? - The Atheist Experience #685 - YouTube
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Old 11-06-2013, 09:01 AM
Location: South Africa
5,563 posts, read 6,328,048 times
Reputation: 1786
I hardly think it can be termed as mental abuse. From my experience, the stuff kids are taught in Sunday schools are the flowery tales of A&E, the flood and other stuff cherry picked to teach some moral lessons.

It is subtle indoctrination and the hell concepts may only come up later in years. The problem is that it is cyclic and passed on from one generation to the other.

On another thread I agreed kids should be taught of hell but using the correct meanings of the word which has been erroneously translated to mean this fiery pit somewhere where all the sinners go. These words Sheol (OT - realm of the dead or simply the grave), Gehenna (NT Jesus' hell references, was a rubbish dump and also known as the valley of Hinnom where folk sacrificed kids to Baal which is now a grassy park), Hades (NT based of Greek folklore and also the realm of the dead and also the name of the Greek god that runs this place) and lastly Tartarus (NT a mythical place reserved for the devil and his angels)

The problem is that there is so much myth that only someone that actually studied this would know how to pass on this info as age appropriate.

I think at sometime in their growing up, all kids battle to make a connection with the kiddies god of love and one that sends most of humanity to an unbelievable place.

I really wish I had this info as a young man but we tend to accept that which our parents teach us as truth.

How does one go about explaining to a kid all the earlier pantheon of gods w/o losing them in the details? Based on discussions here, it seem adults ignore these facts and for whatever reason hold onto their indoctrination.

For the most part, believers are lazy and will accept their man of authority behind the pulpit. There is a script to follow and if he deviates from it, folk will look for one that does not.

I forget his name, one black pastor started teaching Universalism which is a more reasonable version of the faith and does indeed touch on these aspects. Most of his congregation walked out on him.

IMO a lot of folk do not dare to look at the rational arguments due to so much time vested in the faith and the belief that it is this that shapes their morality plus it is hard to admit you have been duped.

To put this in a personal context, I was one of these rebellious types but two issues happened that scared me back. The 2000 years from the creation to the Flood, the 2000 years from the flood to Jesus and in 1990ish, gulf war happened and my dad simply connected the imaginary dots. Somewhere around 2000, the millennial reign was supposed to start. I cannot remember where I had heard these origially but it had to have been before I turned 16 when I was afforded the choice to continue attending church or not.

This indoctrination was so well entrenched and it did not take much to work off this residual fear that the world was about to end to sucker me back. I did not want to go to this hell.

Pascal's wager works everytime if the "correct" seeds have been planted.

I really got in deep and then saw much of what led me to walk away in the first place. Then I got really deep into apologetics, textual criticism and here I am totally convinced it is BS. Universalism was my last port of call before that too did not work.

Bear in mind, I never took creationism (YEC) or the flood as literal. I was pretty convinced even as a rebellious youth that Jesus was indeed a real person that lived way back.

Unless these rebellious youth do due diligence and research, they will still not be immune to some good snake-oil salesman later in life when weddings and babies start to happen. Tradition has a way of overriding logic.
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Old 11-06-2013, 12:15 PM
3,404 posts, read 2,256,000 times
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Just... No!

I do not appreciate the indoctrination that I received, nor the ensuing therapy bill required to undo my childhood religious upbringing, but raising ones children is a matter of conscience. not only would this be utterly unenforceable, it is antithetical to any concept of liberty, freedom of religion, freedom of conscience, and really any other freedom.

There is a reason why the only real proponents of this are angry teenagers who resent the authority figures in their lives.

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Old 11-06-2013, 02:53 PM
Location: Northeastern US
14,198 posts, read 9,109,074 times
Reputation: 6081
Society has limited resources to deal with such things and so I don't think it will bother to intervene just because of hellthreat. After all, they often won't intervene in far more obviously harmful settings, practically until a child ends up filthy and malnourished, dead, etc. And child protective services has been known to be incredibly heavy handed and, shall we say, un-nuanced at other times, such that some folks are afraid to give them MORE power to intervene. In other words they fail to intervene when they should and then micromanage where they either shouldn't or it's a poor use of resources. Distilled still further, no one really trusts them to do their job. I'm sure there are specific localities where they have their act together but for some reason this is not one of the better-working social services as far as I've seen.
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