Should Parents Raise Their Child(ren) Into a Religion?

  • wxyz

    wxyz (240)

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    ...or should it be up to the child to think for themselves?

    There's not much else to add to this question really, as I think it fuels enough in the way of discussion. But here are a couple of possible discussion points for elaboration...

    - Do you think it's ethically/morally right to raise a child into a certain religion from birth?
    - Do you think religion is necessary to any extent for a child growing up?
    June 22nd, 2011 at 03:25pm
  • Monroe;

    Monroe; (615)

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    1. I don't think it's wrong to raise a child a certain religion. A lot of children eventually grow up to develop their own concepts of religion and make their own beliefs.

    2. I don't know about this one. I'll have a think about it.

    My parents raised all of us catholic and none of us have an issue about it. Ireland is a high rise catholic country so nearly everyone you meet is catholic and most schools are catholic.
    June 22nd, 2011 at 04:02pm
  • Sansa Stark

    Sansa Stark (930)

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    A lot of kids turn out to have serious mental disorders because they had religion shoved down their throats...
    June 22nd, 2011 at 04:21pm
  • Bella Goes Away.

    Bella Goes Away. (860)

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    weird soup:
    A lot of kids turn out to have serious mental disorders because they had religion shoved down their throats...
    Just because you grow up with a certain religion or because your parents raise you as such it doesn't mean they "shove" it down anyone's throat.

    Also, please site some sources if you're going to make a claim as such.
    June 22nd, 2011 at 04:24pm
  • Sansa Stark

    Sansa Stark (930)

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    No, it's not just raising your kids as, say, catholics. It's when you actually take it to an extreme. When you lead your children into believing that if you do any small mistake, you'll go to Hell. Or having them believe the Bible is accurate. That sort of stuff.
    June 22nd, 2011 at 06:08pm
  • Monroe;

    Monroe; (615)

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    weird soup:
    No, it's not just raising your kids as, say, catholics. It's when you actually take it to an extreme. When you lead your children into believing that if you do any small mistake, you'll go to Hell. Or having them believe the Bible is accurate. That sort of stuff.
    Agreed. I think that's religion taken to the extreme. People forget that the bible, which isn't at all accurate, how could it be? It's word of mouth, basically, until someone decided to write it down. (which is what i believe) People also forget that the bible was written in a totally different time era, with laws that were socially acceptable and in a lot of today's societies, are deemed ridiculous, or even torture methods.
    June 22nd, 2011 at 06:12pm
  • Sansa Stark

    Sansa Stark (930)

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    http://www.psywww.com/psyrelig/index.htm

    This site I've been reading explains a lot of things having to do with the Psychology of Religion.
    June 22nd, 2011 at 06:12pm
  • Sansa Stark

    Sansa Stark (930)

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    Robert Pattinson:
    Agreed. I think that's religion taken to the extreme. People forget that the bible, which isn't at all accurate, how could it be? It's word of mouth, basically, until someone decided to write it down. (which is what i believe) People also forget that the bible was written in a totally different time era, with laws that were socially acceptable and in a lot of today's societies, are deemed ridiculous, or even torture methods.
    Yes, there are murderers who actually use God as their excuse to kill, or even swear upon His word that He sent them to kill the "infidels", the "sinners"...

    People who grow up in a home where they have religion shoved down their throats 24/7, especially if whoever taught them about religion is someone who sees God as a vengeful being to those who practice sin. Children who grow up believing they can't make the smallest of mistakes or they'll go to Hell are usually the ones who grow up to be the bigger troublemakers, when there's no one around who can guide them, because they want to feel free to make mistakes, like any other human being. Do you know what I mean?
    June 22nd, 2011 at 06:16pm
  • folie a dru.

    folie a dru. (1270)

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    weird soup:
    A lot of kids turn out to have serious mental disorders because they had religion shoved down their throats...
    Do you have statistics for that? My sister was raised Atheist, I was raised Protestant and we both have Bipolar. Typically, mental disorders are caused by genetics, not religious fervor. Though mental disorders can have symptoms tied in with religion and religious symbolism.

    ---

    Back on track. In a perfect world, the parent would be smart enough to understand that if I child doesn't want to go to church or something, that force-feeding them dogma isn't going to do a damn bit of good. But we don't live in a perfect world, which makes it very hard to answer this question.

    I don't think parents need to teach their children religion, nor do I think they should or shouldn't. There's no right answer. I will be (hopefully) bringing my children up in the Christian faith, but it doesn't mean I think everyone should or that a friend who raises their children without religion is wrong.

    I just think there should be openness about it either way.
    June 22nd, 2011 at 10:49pm
  • kafka.

    kafka. (150)

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    Alex; oxytocin.:
    ...or should it be up to the child to think for themselves?
    Why do I feel like this question implies that children of religious people are so stupid they can't think for themselves unless being specifically told to do so by their parents? Facepalm More and more young men and women get involved with dangerous extremist groups not because their family pushes them into it, but because their friends or friendly preachers do. People very rarely decide their religious beliefs all on their own - most read books, talk to people, visit churches and temples, etc. so they're all going to be influenced by somebody. I think it's preferable that somebody sincerely loves and wants the best for the person who's trying to figure out their beliefs instead of being somebody who just wants to profit from them.
    June 22nd, 2011 at 11:15pm
  • Jewel Nicole

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    Alex; oxytocin.:
    ...or should it be up to the child to think for themselves?
    I don't think this question insinuates that children of religious people are so stupid.

    I don't see anything wrong with parents taking their child to church or teaching about their religion at any early age. If the parents want to bring their child up in a religion then that's fine. I just don't think it should be forced if the child doesn't want to. Eventually the child will be able to put together their own beliefs and if it's the same as their parents, then cool, and if not that's fine too.
    June 23rd, 2011 at 12:56am
  • lovecraft

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    Alex; oxytocin.:
    - Do you think it's ethically/morally right to raise a child into a certain religion from birth?
    - Do you think religion is necessary to any extent for a child growing up?
    You're going to raise your child with a moral set, regardless of whether or not you bring religion into the process.
    I do think that bringing a child into a religion is a little more dangerous than giving them set moral values, if only because religion tends to be more concrete and strict than an understanding of good/bad.
    June 23rd, 2011 at 03:27am
  • ThePiesEndure

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    Alex; oxytocin.:
    ...or should it be up to the child to think for themselves?

    There's not much else to add to this question really, as I think it fuels enough in the way of discussion. But here are a couple of possible discussion points for elaboration...

    - Do you think it's ethically/morally right to raise a child into a certain religion from birth?
    - Do you think religion is necessary to any extent for a child growing up?
    To answer the initial question:

    1. That depends on how old the child is. A five year old cannot be expected to make decisions about religion/ethics/morals. A parent needs to guide them through all of that.

    2. I believe it's right to raise a child within the religion one belongs to as long as there is no coercion involved. As long as there is no harm caused, I think it's fine. Often religion is tied in with a family's culture too.

    3. Personally, I believe religion is necessary, but that's just because I've been raised within a religion. Of course to be entirely unbiased my answer would be no, it's not necessary, as long as a child is taught ethics and morals.
    June 23rd, 2011 at 03:53am
  • Bastard Son.

    Bastard Son. (200)

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    If both parents are, say, your regular joe and jane practicing catholics, so they attend sunday mass and say grace before they eat while living by the the love-thy-neighbor principle, I don't see why they wouldn't raise their children that way. It could only do them good and give them something to believe in, while also teaching them about right and wrong through various stories and metaphors.

    There's no use debating over extreme cases, they are sporadic and just that extreme. There's no telling what goes on in the minds of those parents or if the kids will accept their teachings or start thinking for themselves.

    Instilling religion in children does not equal shoving it down their throats like someone up there mentioned. The child can easily change its mind later on in time when it has enough experience and knowledge of religion.

    Having religion in one's life isn't strictly necessary per se, as long as the parents are still teaching their child respect towards others and generally to stick to some sort of moral code and ethics. But believing in something does make life easier at times.

    My nana always tells me this: "If you believe in nothing, then you are nothing." It doesn't have to be God, it could be the good in people, or the fairy godmother, as long as you are able to put your faith in something that you can't see, that is, to open your heart to something that isn't material.
    June 23rd, 2011 at 06:24pm
  • arishikun

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    parents are going to try to force religon on their children just cause thats what happened to them. but no let the kid decide for themself
    June 23rd, 2011 at 10:41pm
  • ThePiesEndure

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    lovesunwanted:
    parents are going to try to force religon on their children just cause thats what happened to them. but no let the kid decide for themself
    That really depends on the parents, though. I know people who decided even though they believed in a certain religion they weren't going 'force' it on their children.
    June 24th, 2011 at 07:51am
  • folie a dru.

    folie a dru. (1270)

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    parents are going to try to force religon on their children just cause thats what happened to them. but no let the kid decide for themself
    My mom was raised Protestant and raised my sister as an Atheist. (And she was still Protestant for the first ten years she was raising my sister as an Atheist.)
    June 25th, 2011 at 03:36am
  • iMeowTao

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    i think it's acceptable for a parent to educate their child on what they believe, but at the same time give them the chance to educate themselves on other religions as well. that's what i plan to do.

    my parents both desperately wanted to raise me as a christian, and it didn't happen. what isn't meant to be, won't be. it's not my choice what anyone but myself believes, and i'm not going to try to take that away from anybody.

    anyway, even when i was young, very young, i had a sense of what i believed. i didn't need the church, or prayer, or the Abrahamic God, or Jesus. that doesn't mean i didn't need religion. to each their own.
    June 25th, 2011 at 04:34pm
  • iMeowTao

    iMeowTao (100)

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    Bastard Son.:
    Having religion in one's life isn't strictly necessary per se, as long as the parents are still teaching their child respect towards others and generally to stick to some sort of moral code and ethics. But believing in something does make life easier at times.

    My nana always tells me this: "If you believe in nothing, then you are nothing." It doesn't have to be God, it could be the good in people, or the fairy godmother, as long as you are able to put your faith in something that you can't see, that is, to open your heart to something that isn't material.
    completely agreed. you have a better way with words than i do.
    June 25th, 2011 at 04:39pm
  • jewelia.

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    I think that the parents can raise their children in whatever way they would like to, but they have to know that when the child matures, it will make its own decision. It might be to stay with the religion they grew up with, or do something they think is logical, reasonable, or right. I'm 11 years old and my parents are Atheists, and I remain agnostic. They have taught me to grow up to be a non-believer, but I think they respect my beliefs because it doesn't completely change my personality.

    If people think that they need to believe in a certain religion to impress their parents or impress a certain someone, then so be it, but it should occur to them at some point that that are free to make their own decisions. I don't believe many parents can forcibly put beliefs in their children's heads, medically or just by words alone.
    July 12th, 2011 at 01:55am