The Instigator
Messi-09
Pro (for)
Tied
4 Points
The Contender
chrisjachimiak
Con (against)
Tied
4 Points

Children should not be brainwashed with religion

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 4 votes the winner is...
It's a Tie!
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 1/2/2015 Category: Religion
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,019 times Debate No: 67758
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (15)
Votes (4)

 

Messi-09

Pro

From a very early age, children raised in religious families are immediately taught about their families beliefs and view of God, and when they enter school, this exposure to certain religious beliefs and symbols is continued. The child's brain is still developing at this point and due to this early exposure, religious culture is ingrained in them from such an early age. The official term is religious indoctrination, but I prefer to call it brainwashing. They are not allowed to think for themselves on a spiritual level but must instead conform to whatever their family and school tells them God is.
chrisjachimiak

Con

From an early age, most children are raised in religious families. Those families have been part of that certain religion for most likely decades. It should be a parents right to choose whether or not they want to expose their children to religion. We force other beliefs onto our children anyways and religion is not a huge deal. We force our kids to believe in Santa Clause, The Easter Bunny, and plenty of other things. We force our kids to go to school and to do certain things, because children at that age are not mentally mature enough to make certain decisions. Parents are supposed to make sure their kids are grown up correct. If a parent wants their child to be religious, then they should have the power to choose that. It's like abortion, who is the government or any of us to tell people that they can't have their child be told to believe in god at a young age. Especially when we "brainwash" our children to believe in Santa and other fictional characters.
Another point that I would like to make is that schools are not supposed to use god in school, so therefore the point that religion is brought into schools after being taught at home is a fallacy, so therefore that point is not true.
Debate Round No. 1
Messi-09

Pro

"Religion is not a huge deal." I would respectfully disagree as religion has unfortunately been a major aspect of our society for years. I believe that the comparison between religion and fictional characters such as Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny is inaccurate. These are childhood legends/myths that represent a child"s innocence. Apart from feelings of excitement on Christmas Eve or Easter, they do not, unlike religion, tell a child what is right and wrong, that there is a higher power and what God they should believe in. They are harmless legends, and once children reach a certain age, they cease to believe in these fictional characters, and they lose their innocence. Adults don"t believe in Santa Claus or the Easter Bunny, but can believe in God.
Meanwhile religion is likely to stay with a person forever as they have been exposed to it from such an early age. When we are young, are brain is developing and it is the best period to learn crucial skills. Exposing children to religion at this age is why people still believe in God today. I see that you live in America, and I don"t know what the system is over there, but in Australia, religion is used in schools all the time (and I assumed the same of America as well.) From the age of 6 in Primary school I was "indoctrinated" into Catholicism as I attended a Catholic school, and this continued into High School. However since then I have reverted to atheism. Yes it is true that parents teach children their beliefs anyway, but religion is not needed to do this, people can form moral values without belief in a hypothetical higher power that MAN created. Children should learn the basic skills and once they reach a mature age when they are able to make critical decisions, they should then choose if they want to adopt a religion or not. It should not be forced on them, as unlike other things they learn in school such as maths, writing etc., religion is purely hypothetical.
Lastly Richard Dawkins, fellow atheist and a person who believes children should be taught the theory of evolution, not that the world was created in 6 days shares a similar view, stating that:
'What a child should never be taught is that you are a Catholic or Muslim child therefore that is what you believe."
Children should not be taught that if they are bad they will burn in hell, and if good promised heaven. They should learn, form their morals and mature without religion controlling them, and telling them what to believe.
chrisjachimiak

Con

"I would respectfully disagree as religion has unfortunately been a major aspect of our society for years." I misspoke when saying this. What I was trying to say was that religion is a huge deal in society, but there is plenty of worse things to expose your children to. I disagree with you when you say the Easter Bunny and Santa are fictional characters that represent innocence. Mark Joseph Stern, believes that subjecting our kids to The Easter Bunny and Santa is a worse idea then subjecting them to religion. The Easter Bunny and Santa make kids believe things that are 100% not true.Several studies do seem to corroborate the conventional wisdom that kids raised with religion"any religion"are psychologically healthier than kids raised without it. [1] Religion as I just shows makes kids psychologically healthier.

The next point I would like to address again, that you didn't address earlier is "A PARENTS RIGHT TO CHOOSE." A parent has the right to choose these types of things. A parent has the right to choose whether they want their child to see a general physician. A parent has the right to abort there fetuses before they're born. Parents have the right to choose whether they want their kid to receive a proper education or attend specialty schools. Why shouldn't a parent have the right to choose whether or not their kids should be exposed to religion. Technically under United States law, the legal guardian of the child has control of everything their child (anyone under the age of 18) does. So, under United States law, if a guardian wants their child to be religious, until that child becomes 18, the parents can choose to do so.

"Richard Dawkins' paragraph." You stated that children should learn from their morals and mature without religion controlling them. I disagree with that entirely. Unless you're a religious extremist (which only 27% of Muslims are, and 7% of Christians.) then you don't believe that religion should control your child's life. Obviously, Richard Dawkins is and Atheist, and has his specific views about religion. He therefore is not extremely reliable, considering he doesn't believe in religion at all.

**Note**'
Considering you live in Australia, and I live in the United States, lets not bring up the religion is schools, because we have conflicting information, so therefore that point can't be true.
Debate Round No. 2
Messi-09

Pro

Thanks for clearing up the religion isn"t a huge deal statement, I understand what you were trying to say. I agree we will drop the school point as there are obvious differences between Australia and the US on this matter, however that also means we should not go comparing our laws either.
In terms of Mark Joseph Stern, could you provide some evidence or a quote regarding his feelings on Santa? Yes, by subjecting kids to the Easter Bunny and Santa, you are subjecting them to something that is not true. But is religion true? Is teaching kids that (in Catholicism for example) the world was created in 6 days, and that there is a God listening to their prayers true, when there is no evidence to support such claims? As I said, Santa is completely different to religion; it is a childhood legend which kids cease to believe in once they reach a certain age.
You say there several studies showing kids raised with religion are psychologically healthier. Again could you provide a link please?
To respond to your next argument, "a parents right to choose". Firstly you state that "a parent has the right to abort their foetuses before they are born", however I noticed on your profile page that you are con on the topic of abortion. Yes parents do have the right to choose or control certain aspects of their child"s life. But let"s look at the things you listed:
"General physician " this is a living breathing person unlike God. He can help a child recover from illness with SCIENTIFIC knowledge, which is much more reliable than being taught to pray in my personal opinion.
"Abortion " again this is an issue with a living organism, and I have already pointed out that your profile already contradicts your pro-choice argument.
"Education " a real, not hypothetical concept in which kids learn crucial skills, such as maths, language, science and history etc. These things unlike religion have evidence to back them up and are crucial to a child"s development.

The difference between these concepts and religion is that yes, parents should have the right to choose doctors and education for their children because they will actual help them. If you believe that children need to be raised with religion to have good morals and become psychologically healthier, are you then implying that people without religion are not moral people?
On the topic of Richard Dawkins, yes he is an atheist, but is well informed on the issue and has more knowledge about religion that you or me combined, which of course he needs to criticize it. I wouldn't"t call him an unreliable source at all.
So to summarise my main argument, shoving religion down children"s throats from an early age is brainwashing, as it removes their ability to think critically and analytically on a spiritual level. Religion stagnates our ability to think freely as it has become a part of peoples identity from such an early age. As you brought up fundamentalism, the 27% of Muslims and 7% of Christians who are extremists have these views because from an early age, they have been taught into thinking that their religion is superior to everyone else"s. Is it a majority, no, but out of all Muslims and Christians, for 34% to be extremists is a huge number of people. Sometimes it only takes one however to cause violence, as we have seen on multiple instances throughout the last 15 years.
Compared to the other aspects that parents should control that you listed, religion is HYPOTHETICAL. You are exposing children to something that is based on faith rather than reason. To me that contradicts what education is about.
chrisjachimiak

Con

The link you asked for:
http://www.slate.com...

You keep stating that religion is not true, and there is no solid proof that religion is true. I disagree. How do you explain things like the bible? Did someone just write that in their free time. Your point saying that religion isn't real is invalid, due to you have nothing that says religion and god isn't real.

I'm also finding it a little sketchy that you're basing my arguments off of my political views. Yes, I am about as conservative as it gets, and I dislike the idea of abortion, but parents under United States law have the right to commit that act. So therefore just because I am con on abortion, doesn't mean I can't use it as an example.

On your next point, "General Physician." I'm assuming that either a. you are atheist or b. you had some traumatic experience with religion. You say time and time again that these other things are more important than religion. In some cases I agree with you. I wasn't saying that a General Physician and Education were more or less important than religion. This all boils down to my point about a parents right to choose. A parent can choose to send their kid to school, or take them to a general physician. That boils down to their choice. They have the choice up until their child turns 18 or is emancipated from them, to make these decisions for their children. A parent ought to have the right to make the decision with religion. Not allowing them to is wrong, when we allow them to make other huge decisions for their children.

You stated that children needed to think critically and analytically on a spiritual level. According to this: http://www.bbc.com... , Children are not able to function and make decisions such as these until they're 16. Therefore your statement saying that young children need to be able to think for themselves on a spiritual level is wrong.

Another statement that you brought up that is incorrect as well, is the statement that those 34% of extremists cause violence. I disagree. Close to 1% of those extremists cause violence. Therefore, a statement such as yours is a lot wrong and I think you failed to look up the actual information.

You can not prove that religion is a hypothetical thing.

Thanks.
Debate Round No. 3
Messi-09

Pro

"What is asserted without evidence can be dismissed without evidence" " Christopher Hitchens

The Bible is not evidence that God exists. You cannot put your faith in a book written thousands of years ago, which was written by people who disagreed about the actions of their "Gods" anyway.

https://www.youtube.com...

The bible is not a reliable source at all and is not evidence for the existence of a higher power. Sorry if I got confused over the abortion point, I just saw you were "con" on abortion, and most people who are pro-life say that parents don"t have the right to kill their foetus, the opposite of what you pointed out.
Yes I am an atheist. I have not had a traumatic experience with religion, but after years of being made to go to church and pray, I slowly began to realise that nobody was listening apart from this God, a product of the human imagination. God didn"t stop my family members becoming ill, nor did he prevent a family member dying after a near death experience. Things just happen, it is part of nature. But since you do point out the bible, what about the section were God "loves everyone" and has a commandment saying thou shall not kill, but then precedes to kill every Egyptian first born? Is that the behaviour that children should be taught?

Yes, you are correct in saying a parent does have a right to choose, but I do believe that children should not be indoctrinated, but simply taught about the different religions in the world for general knowledge. The idea that children cannot think on a spiritual level until 16 is inaccurate on a variety of levels and generalises people as a whole. I think children are quite capable to think about these things as young as aged 10. Are you suggesting however that because they can"t think this way until aged 16, we should let religion guide them until this point?

Also, I didn"t actually say that 34% of extremists were violent. I said based on the stats you provided, that out of all Christians and Muslims, 34% were extremists and it only takes ONE to cause violence. I never assumed that extremism ultimately leads to violence at every instance. I think we are going slightly of topic however into an atheism vs religion debate. Back to the brainwashing issue, I will conclude by saying that:

Children should be encouraged to think freely without being confined to the dogmatic and medieval views of religion. They should not be taught fables that tell them what to believe, how there is only one God etc., but they should be taught about actual concepts relevant to the real world, not relevant to our society thousands of years ago, that due to a lack of scientific knowledge, placed their faith in a higher power. By suggesting to people that they should not force their religion on children, I am not converting them to atheism, I am reverting them back to common sense, and just as I started this round, I will conclude with another Hitchen's quote:

"Religion has run out of justifications. Thanks to the telescope and the microscope, it no longer offers an explanation of anything important"
chrisjachimiak

Con

I disagree with your point that the bible is a reliable source. You can't say that the bible isn't a source, when your only sources are your atheistic views and the atheistic views of the people that you cite. Therefore, if you say my source (the bible) is not reliable, then your source (atheistic views) are not reliable either. When you say things like go loves everyone and has a commandment... I agree, that that's not entirely what we should be teaching our children, but don't you think that theirs worst things to teach our children. What children learns from the commandments? Children learn from seeing and doing as their parents do. Unless your parent is a serial killer, I don't think your point is really valid.

I'm not saying that all parents have to impose religion on their children. That's the kind of points you're saying I'm making. That is completely not true. I said that a parent should have the right to choose if they want a religious family. If a parent want their child to be guided with religion, it should be their choice. Not ours to make, saying that they can't have a religious family because we're "brainwashing them." What proof do you have that religion is a bad thing. Just because you don't believe in religion, why should parents not be allowed to teach their kids religion. Does religion create serial killers? Does religion create rapists and pedophiles? What's the harm in religion, if they don't create these types of human beings?
Debate Round No. 4
15 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by DraftyBasilisk 2 years ago
DraftyBasilisk
@Messi-09

I became a non-believer because when I was old enough to evaluate the religious situation I was in, the evidence pointed to scientific explanations. My point is that a parents right to choose should not be disregarded as quickly as you think it should be. People believe in a God, they believe the doctrines that they follow. Why, just because somebody thinks differently, should they be denied the option of sharing their belief with their children. Think of it the other way around; should we be allowed to tell our children that God doesn't exist? People believe the contrary, so should we be allowed to 'brainwash' our children with non-belief? Turn this debate around and you would argue that you should be allowed to share your lack of belief in God with your children, so why deny theists the same luxury?
Posted by Ragnar 2 years ago
Ragnar
@chrisjachimiak:
You and your opponent keep complaining of me disagreeing with the other, in his case actually insisting I only criticized his arguments, and no one elses. Such is very strange to say the least.

Not saying this applies to you, but in case it does: Alt accounts are not allowed on this site.
Posted by chrisjachimiak 2 years ago
chrisjachimiak
@ragnar: "parents should have the right to choose doctors and education for their children because they will actual help them." This is a borderline concession, given the prior statements about catholic schools.

I completely disagree. Parents should have the right to choose these things. You are completely wrong in saying this is concession. Catholic Schools and his indoctrination to these is no where comparable to my statement. I understand that you are a great debater and all with a 100% win percentage, but I disagree with everything you said above. Parents have the rights to choose these things, and they should have the right to choose whether they expose their child to religion.
Posted by Ragnar 2 years ago
Ragnar
@Messi:
"your whole comment attacking my arguments because you disagreed with me" ... While I gave more feedback to your side, I gave the other side feedback as well, to include multiple quotations, even one I called a "painful appeal to ignorance," invalidating your complaint before you even typed it.

"Yes Santa is different to religion, to say they are similar is inaccurate," Two fictional things taught to children to encourage them to behave a certain way, not similar, really? Let's debate this lack of any similarities.

"It wasn't appeal to hypocrisy, it was an observation." That fallacy often is an observation, to quote rationalwiki "is a form of ad hominem fallacy that occurs when it is assumed that an argument is wrong if the source making the claim has itself spoken or acted in a way inconsistent with it." http://rationalwiki.org...

"Lastly you are an aethist, but yet you criticise me for not having evidence god doesn't exist." ... What the heck are you talking about? Please provide a quote from me.

"What was the point of commenting and voting if you are just going to criticise my argument but the. Give a tie." To start, helping you along the path to mastery of the English language, which I admittedly did not realize was needed. The main point is helping both sides improve their future arguments, avoiding some of the main fallacies I pointed out, the same as any other valid vote (yes any vote that gives no feedback, is invalid, having not bet BoP of proving the voter read the argument). Also as I read the argument, I copied highlights to write out a RFD, which at the end resulted in a tie. If you prefer avoiding comments, you can actually set a debate to not require voter comments, and state in R1 people should not give them (which would lead to nothing but votebombs, but that's your choice).
Posted by Messi-09 2 years ago
Messi-09
@DraftyBasilisk

Just because a parent does have a right to choose, it doesn't necessarily make it the right thing to do. If you, along with me and many others don't believe in God now, what was the point in being taught to believe in the first place. Why did you become a non believer?
Posted by Messi-09 2 years ago
Messi-09
@ragnar

So you gave us a tie, but yet spend your whole comment attacking my arguments because you disagreed with me beforehand? This debate isn't about if speciality schools should or should not be able to teach religion, it is about whether religion should be used in school so households at all with children. Obviously me going to catholic school was not my choice, but my parents. Yes Santa is different to religion, to say they are similar is inaccurate, as I have stated multiple times, do adults believe in Santa and are there organisations worshipping Santa, and telling people what to believe in, what is hell, and what is heaven etc? If that isn't a difference I don't know what is. It wasn't appeal to hypocrisy, it was an observation. Pro life people generally don't believe in the right to kill a foetus hence my question. Lastly you are an aethist, but yet you criticise me for not having evidence god doesn't exist. There is also no evidence he DOES exist. What was the point of commenting and voting if you are just going to criticise my argument but the. Give a tie. Apart from parents right to choose I didn't see any valid reason why relgion should be taught.
Posted by Ragnar 2 years ago
Ragnar
---RFD---
R1 pro: "The official term is religious indoctrination, but I prefer to call it brainwashing." = R1 definition by the instigator; which admittedly makes the resolution a little weird "Children should not be [religious indoctrination] with religion?" If they're going to be religiously indoctrinated, I have a hard time imagining it being without religion.

R1 con: "Those families have been part of that certain religion for most likely decades." & R2 pro: "religion has unfortunately been a major aspect of our society for years." I know it's technically true if you add up enough years/decades, but the same is also true of seconds/minutes. Freedom of religion was one of the founding principles of our great nation.

"From the age of 6 in Primary school I was "indoctrinated" into Catholicism as I attended a Catholic school," *facepalm* so this debate is really about if specialty religious schools should be able to teach religion?

"Santa is completely different to religion;" I still have not seen much of a difference, right down the to belief (from pro) that if people get smart enough, they'll stop believing. However

"I noticed on your profile page that you are con on the topic of abortion." Terrible use of appeal to hypocrisy.

"parents should have the right to choose doctors and education for their children because they will actual help them." This is a borderline concession, given the prior statements about catholic schools.

"Your point saying that religion isn't real is invalid, due to you have nothing that says religion and god isn't real." painful appeal to ignorance.

The final round ends with a bunch of questions... This felt more like a discussion between two people, than a true debate. I feel neither side quite met their BoP, so arguments tied.
Posted by DraftyBasilisk 2 years ago
DraftyBasilisk
I'm not quite understanding the point of this debate. Pro, in your opening statements you declare that when parents teach children about their religion they are 'indoctrinating' them... So are you suggesting that people of religious belief go out of their way to hide their beliefs from children, that children should grow up naive of religious belief just so that they don't believe in them? You were indoctrinated at a young age, but are now atheist. What harm did this 'indoctrination' do other than educate you in what their is to believe in this world? I'm pretty sure your days in these schools doesn't keep you up at night due to nightmares about believing in God, and if your parents believe in God then of course they would educate you in the religion. At least it wasn't so restrictive that you are oppressed for being atheist now, you grew up open minded enough to choose for yourself, so it can't have been that traumatising.

Teaching your child of your beliefs shouldn't be considered a bad thing unless it makes their mind closed to other ideas when they are older. I grew up with Christian influence and I now believe in no God, but I don't feel that my Christian upbringing was anything to change because it gave me the opportunity to educate myself in more than just school work and video games. You wanting people to not believe in God should not get in the way of parents raising their children how they believe is best.
Posted by TRUE-ISRAELITE 2 years ago
TRUE-ISRAELITE
I don't need to read the content of the debate in order to decide who I'd vote for. I've discussed topic many times and I simply do not agree with brainwashing children into worshiping different gods. There is only one true ALAHYM. That's all religion is, worshiping different gods, idols, and celebrating festivals that have nothing to do with The Creator.
Posted by Ragnar 2 years ago
Ragnar
@True-Israelite
As there are two whole rounds left, you would only be voting for a pre-decided winner, and not on the content of the debate.
4 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Vote Placed by Ragnar 2 years ago
Ragnar
Messi-09chrisjachimiakTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Tie, a little feedback in the comments.
Vote Placed by warren42 2 years ago
warren42
Messi-09chrisjachimiakTied
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Reasons for voting decision: I feel that Pro's definition of brainwashing is inaccurate. Though children are more impressionable at a younger age, when they reach a certain level of maturity, they can realize that they may not agree with the teachings of the religion with which they were raised. Additionally, the point about the fact that religion teaches them morals flows Con, as almost every religion (Christianity, Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism, Judaism, etc.) advocate sound morals.
Vote Placed by hayhen13 2 years ago
hayhen13
Messi-09chrisjachimiakTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Pretty good debate overall. I was disappointed in the arguments though since neither side really had a good argument to point goes to Pro since Con had lots of spelling errors I noticed.
Vote Placed by Jation 2 years ago
Jation
Messi-09chrisjachimiakTied
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Total points awarded:31 
Reasons for voting decision: Over all both arguments were not overwhelmingly convincing. In the end, the point that Con chooses that it is a "right" still does not address the question of ...SHOULD! Other aspects of the debate were clearly du ducked by reason.