Most people that are christian are so because they are born to families that are already christian. Therefore they are indoctrinated (forced) to become an obedient member of the family ideology. This has been going on for over 2,000 years and has become an epidemic.
Now many christians claim that they "came to jesus", but that is a lie that they tell themselves and anyone that will listen. Just how many made a cognitive decision to become christian in the first place? I mean people that have the mature critical thinking ability to make a decision without coercion of any kind.
I would guess, none, or slim to none.
Christianity defies logic and common sense, so there has to be a contributing factor that causes people to act against their own well being.
Okay so I am limiting this to christianity, and that leaves a great deal to be answered on a larger scale. I chose to do so because no other religion has been so forceful to create believers in their faith. Some have come close, but christianity is number one in that area.
We are all born atheist and have to be changed to accept a faith or ideal. I am not talking about converts that change from one religion to another. I am talking about taking the original person and defining why they didn't remain an atheist in the first place.
As Pramagtic told Gabreil on another thread, "You don't know why you are a christian." That is a true statement. Most christians only repeat dogma to justify their belief. they don't understand that they were socially, systematically brainwashed to become christian in the first place.
I was once a christian. I was an infant and could not undestand such things when I was made a christian. For years I was brainwashed to remain a christian. That is the program. It's basically child abuse.
If christianity or any faith for that matter was able to stand up to scrutiny, it would allow people that are old enough to make real decisions, to come to it, instead of brainwashing children.
Most christians after years of indoctrination start justifying their faith with nonsensical gibberish. Some, I suspect of suffering from Stockholm Syndrom go deeper into the delusion of their faith and become....evangelical.
I know there are no statistics that tell us how many people became a christian out of their own volition, but I assume it is few to none.
If you ask a christian why they became a christian, and they don't answer "I was forced into it from birth", then in all likelihood they have lied to you.
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Another great post as usual,myk. I have nothing to add, nothing to subtract, nothing to multiply, and nothing to shake a stick at.
"I know there are no statistics that tell us how many people became a christian out of their own volition, but I assume it is few to none."
A huge number have converted to Mormonism, Angicanism, etc., in Japan. I'm sure it's the same in other Asian countries. I know that Korean and Taiwanese migrants in New Zealand have very strong and active Christian church communities. Recent converts seem to be more zealous than people who are simply born into Christianity.
My theory is that childhood indoctrination in one religion leaves people with a kind of religious operating system in their brains that makes it easier to install another religion. I think there are certain basic hooks, such as fear of deities, hope for an afterlife.
I agree. You can very easily displace one religion for another. Once a person has been socialized, indoctrinated, brainwashed, they can be reprogrammed into another belief. Just like drug addicts that move to a new and different drug. Their system wants and needs a drug to satisfy the vacancy left from the last drug, even demanding stronger doses for stability. The chemistry is an ever revolving cycle that demands the drug and wants less of sustenance for life. Thus it is with christianity. Once emersed into the drug of religion, one cares far less for logic and continues to justify the religious existence. Some even go beyond the tipping point and start acting irrationally.
Speaking for myself, I was born into a Christian family and was a Christian until I actually read the bible, when I was too young to know what it was I claimed to believe in I used my family being Christian as justification for being Christian. This is something I think a lot of believers do. To this day my family is still Christian, and they have never read the bible, I think there is a strong correlation between these two factors. It is only when the Christian does not know what the bible says can they in good conscience claim to believe in what it says.
I believe you are right. I think it is fascinating when believers come on this forum and don't know their own bible. It is even more amusing that the non-believers know the bible inside out. Tells ya something doesn't it.
I can testify to this post. Being a recently turned atheist, from Christianity, I can say that most of my life I have been indoctrinated without any GOOD reason. I started going to Catholic school in my 6th grade year, and still to this day go to a Catholic Private school. Being at this school, it is only even more apparent that people are indoctrinated. In my religion class we have been learning "Catholic Morality." My teacher, who I actually really like, has recently been talking about materialism and individualism. Tomorrow, we are supposedly going over secularism, agnosticism, and atheism. I am expecting the worst, and I will get back to you all what I have learned.
Wow, It's funny how you started catholic school in the sixth grade. I was Episcopalian and I started religious school in the first grade. We called it catechism. I was confirmed by the time I was in sixth grade. I was baptized as an infant. Looking forward to your report on the secular and atheist part.
I don't suppose your instructor actually told you that "catholic morality" is an oxymoron? No, I didn't think so.
Yeah, I was raised in a family of 5 and am the second youngest. It is just me, my sister, dad, and mom now. My parents didn't have the income to send 5 kids to private school, so when my older siblings left the house, they put me in a Catholic private school. While I was baptized as an infant, I haven't been confirmed yet. My parents were actually asking me about it earlier this week, I changed the topic and hoped they would forget about it. I think it will be pretty interesting to hear my religion teacher this week on secularism, almost like going into the mind of a Catholic.
I am also curious to hear how your class goes. If anything you should have a crash course in the writings of the enlightenment, which is very revealing in itself because it is what took us out of the dark ages, when religion ruled the world.
And perhaps give them a piece of your mind while their at it.........
Haha, I wish I could Xavier. I fear that such remarks would leave me exposed. Don't worry, I will be sure to create another thread outlining all of the lessons. I will unfortunetly have to do this tomorrow, however, as I am on a rotation schedule and rotated religion out today.
John 6IX Breezy - "Most churches (except catholics) tend to not allow children younger than 12 to be baptized."
For what it is worth, that is false. The majority of non-Catholic Christians/sects baptise infants.
It's worth a great deal!
@ John 6IX Breezy
I would like to know how you would define the word "atheist" or "atheism".
"To claim that you were "forced" to learn English as opposed to Spanish, is to use very unrealistic and uninteresting vocabulary."
There is however a few major difference between a language and a faith in a god.
- The faith is not based on evidence, it isn't verified information.
- Learning a language doesn't negate all other languages.
- A language isn't trying to interfere with politics or education
- A language isn't used as an excuse to discriminate or even kill people.
"I am certain Sam Harris and Dawkins aren't creating an open minded environment for their children to explore different beliefs, why would they?"
To say that you are certain about this, shows only a bias against the mindset of non-believers.
"They simply live out their atheism and their children inherit it."
Children of atheists grow up in a society, with languages, culture, literature, movies, etc, that all contain religion. Their friends can have various different religions and various different degrees of faith. And there are of course religious proselytizing that is not easily avoided.
The children will know about religion, no matter what.
Quite the contrary to your slightly insulting view of atheists, it would probably be counter productive to try to block religion from the children, since that will only increase their curiosity.
As an atheists, there is no need to block religion from our children. The difference is instead that an atheist won't tell their children that one particular religion is the one true religion.
I teach my children everything they want to know about religion. I also make sure to tell them about many different religions and make comparisons between them.
I tell them that they are free to have their own beliefs. When they ask me, I tell them with sincerity that I don't believe in any god. And when they ask me why, I tell them.
In short, I teach them critical thinking, not just about religion but about everything.
They should learn that people will try to scam them, commercials are not what they appear to be, and so on. I even tell them to be aware of what I say, since I could also be wrong or even lie.
I actually give them false (but harmless) information sometimes, but obvious enough for them to be able to figure it out. Then after I have let them reflect on it, I tell them the truth. Just to test their thinking process.
They seem to think it's a fun game of tricking each other and they have started to try to trick me back sometimes.
"Where I disagree is in implying that the child doesn't eventually grow up and make his religion their own. There comes a time when everybody is mature enough to decide for themselves. You claim to be a convert. So you reached an age where you were aware of what Christianity was and what it offered, and you decided to leave it. Your upbringing did not prevent you from leaving. It can't."
Religious indoctrination can be far worse than the scenario you describe. To say that religious indoctrination *can't* prevent you from leaving, is to be blind to the horrors of what religion can do to people.
"Most churches (except catholics) tend to not allow children younger than 12 to be baptized."
Is this really true? I actually don't know, but I certainly don't think so.
And even if it is true: A child who is completely dependent on their parents, is going to choose to reject their belief? This is no where near a fair situation in which to make such a choice.
"The Amish have perhaps the strictest Christianity in America. And yet they have Rumspringa."
I actually feel that the Amish are one of the least intrusive Christian sect of them all. They don't try to force their religion into other peoples lives. And letting their children go out into the world is a good thing, but they are already heavily indoctrinated by then...
Education of Children.
It is the responsibility of every parent to educate their child to the best of their ability.
1. The child is educated on language. It is essential as this is our most potent mode of communication.
2. Etiquette is essential as it is a guide to socially acceptable behaviour. Necessity demands us to be social as we are social animals that require interactions with others.
3. Religion. Now here we find a problem.
Religious parents teach their child religion. (they are taught to believe and follow tenets and pray and that faith is a virtue)
Atheist parents teach their child religion. (they are taught to read scripture and encouraged to question and be skeptical)
Both parents are trying to equip their child with all they can provide for the future.
But here is the problem. Education is not drafted keeping the teachers perspective in mind but rather the students information as updated and encourage learning.
which means that the most useful and accurate information must be provided and all that is obsolete or inaccurate must be discarded.
Between the two sets of parents it is more likely that the atheist will set aside personal prejudice in order to encourage learning whereas a religious parent will set aside learning in view of faith.
How often have our parents told us to not question and just do what the religious scholar says.
Now John argues that when we are taught language or etiquette we are taught it without question and we may later learn its implication.
It is proven that kids that learn language with an understanding over just repetitive memorising are far more adept at learning and progress faster.
Children who understand why they must behave tend to follow rules better as they understand implications
and still we may be forced to teach the child something they do not fathom yet. but they will one day with language and behaviour. But with religion and god one is never free to question nor will one ever get an answer. and so it is indoctrination
@ John 6IX Breezy
You omitted to answer the question I put in the top of my post:
The Pragmatic - "I would like to know how you would define the word "atheist" or "atheism"."
The reason I asked, is because you sound like one of those who think that atheism is a belief. I have no belief in any god, since there is no evidence to support such a belief. I just wanted it clarified, to avoid misunderstandings.
"You described the society we all grew up in. You seem to want to show that atheists and Christians don't raise their children the same. But by definition, those religious friends that you said your son/daughter has, have your son/daughter as a friend. They are all exposed to each other."
I don't really understand what point you're trying to convey here.
The difference between parents that are believers and atheists is subtle but significant: Atheists don't tell their children that a specific religion is true. And t̶h̶e̶y̶ b̲e̲l̲i̲e̲v̲e̲r̲s̲ are not very likely to tell their children that it's okay to choose another religion or even more unlikely: to not believe at all.
Notice I say believers, not Christians. Because this applies to all religions.
It might be important to note that I am an anti-theist, but not specifically against Christianity. I'm against all religion, superstition and pseudo science.
"That is like telling a Canadian he doesn't know what its like to live in Canada."
In a sense, sure.
But to fill out the blanks in that metaphor: Just because a person is Canadian, doesn't mean that he can claim that all of Canada is like his own home town. If he ignores or just doesn't know about the crime rates in Grande Prairie, he will misrepresent Canada by only taking into account the areas that he knows about.
That you speak only for the part of Christianity that you know of, doesn't mean that all of Christianity is like that. And it certainly doesn't mean that all of religion is like that.
"So my question is, that fear to leave your religion. How much of it is religion based, and how much of it is just human nature."
As you say, it's part of human nature: To seek approval of the parents / family / society.
But if they did not have that religion, there would be no fear to leave it.
Just because it's human nature to seek approval in their parents and their tribe, it doesn't mean it's a good thing to conduct the traditional ritual Naghol on Pentecost Island, where all boys have to jump from tall towers with vines tied around their feet, in order to become a man and to give good harvest.