The Instigator
bfitz1307
Pro (for)
Losing
30 Points
The Contender
Danielle
Con (against)
Winning
31 Points

Parents shouldn't indoctrinate their children to believe that one particular religion is superior.

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 8/24/2008 Category: Religion
Updated: 8 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 4,287 times Debate No: 5127
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (8)
Votes (11)

 

bfitz1307

Pro

First I would like to define two of the words in my title for this debate so we're on the same page, so to speak. Indoctrinate, as defined by Merriam-Webster, is to instruct especially in fundamentals or rudiments. Superior is defined as something, or someone of higher rank, quality, or importance.

Now with those two terms defined I would like to address why such indoctrination is wrong. All religions have in one form or another; a set of rituals, or beliefs, that must be performed, or held in order to enter the after life. Eternal life is after all the main goal of most, if not all religions. Some may say that good works, or helping others is of great importance, but when examined they are only preached as a way to obtain eternal life in many religions.

I certainly have no quarrels with those who choose to do acts of kindness, regardless of the motive. What I do have a problem with is indoctrinating the young to believe that their religion is superior, and all others are in fact wrong. Nearly all religions profess to be the one true faith, but obviously they cannot logically all be the one true faith.

In my opinion children should be exposed to not only the faith of their parents, but also those of other cultures. Now obviously parents are not going to adopt this, so I suggest that all students be required to take a comparative religions class in school. They would not be taught to believe in a particular religion, but be made aware of the cultural influences in all major religions. Children must be raised with open minds, especially when growing up in a time of such global interdependence. Religion can, and should be taught, but not in an exclusive way.

There is virtually no evidence for any miraculous claims in any religion, and therefore it is very irresponsible to teach it to children as if it were fact. Children are raised to believe that it is respectable to hold a belief or opinion without any evidence, and against all logic. Not only are they taught to believe that this is respectable, but actually worthy of praise. This sort of teaching is very corrosive, and is not the sort of thing that we should be flooding young minds with in such a scientific, and technology based age.

The beliefs of faiths are, in many cases, completely irrational and not based on any logical inferences. Children are taught to believe that something is right or wrong solely because God, via an ancient book, says so. In fact there is reason to believe that in many cases books were not written when they were said to have been, nor by who claimed to be their author. In some cases books were authored centuries later, and facts fudged to prove earlier prophecies correct. In other cases, such as the Christian Gospel's, in many instances books of the Gospels will contradict each other on important events.

The children are not the only ones harmed by this indoctrination though. For instance, Christian missionaries tell naive adults in AID's infested Africa that the use of condoms is against God's will, and can even spread the disease. Apart from the later statement being fallacious, and morally absurd, they have no knowledge of the mind or will of God. Therefore they should not pretend to be able to speak on behalf of him simply because they read his book.

What about when the beliefs of ones parents are imposed on a child and actually do cause harm? Circumcision is no doubt painful, and on some occasions leads to infection, and in rare cases death. Should an archaic belief such as this be allowed in the modern era? There are emotional effects of many religions too. The fear of hell is one belief that can inflict serious, and long lasting mental trauma on young individuals.
Danielle

Con

REBUTTAL:

1. What I do have a problem with is indoctrinating the young to believe that their religion is superior, and all others are in fact wrong.

--> The main problem with Pro's case is that he is arguing from the standpoint that all religions are created equal. However, a believer of any religion would tell you that their religion is in fact the 'right' one. If they didn't feel that way, what would be the purpose of following a religion at all? Religion is not a fad; it's not an outfit you can try on, get tired of, and change when you feel like it. Instead to those with strong religious beliefs, practicing their religion and keeping it an important part of their life means valuing it and its teachings above all other teachings. Indeed followers of Christianity, for example, will tell you that Christ's law is more important than any human law. This doesn't mean that religious people don't have to follow man-made laws; however, it simply indicates that there is ONE TRUE LAW above all other laws. This is a belief they hold onto and uphold with all of their hearts.

Now, if one maintained such strong beliefs and truly regarded religious teachings with 100% certainty, why WOULDN'T they teach their children the same thing? To offer an opportunity for your child to stray from your beliefs - what you believe the 'right' thing is - would be bad parenting on your part. For instance, if a parent believed that cheating on a test is wrong, the parent would be morally responsible for passing that ideology onto their child. Likewise, if a parent had a strong Christian faith, that parent would also be responsible for instilling a sense of religious purpose and education to their child.

2. In my opinion children should be exposed to not only the faith of their parents, but also those of other cultures. Now obviously parents are not going to adopt this, so I suggest that all students be required to take a comparative religions class in school.

--> I agree with the first part of this -- exposure to other cultures is always an important aspect of education. However, with a society (government) so inclined to keep a distinct separation between Church and State, REQUIRING a religion class seems a bit extreme. Also, keep in mind that children do also learn a little bit about each religion in classes regarding World History, for example.

3. There is virtually no evidence for any miraculous claims in any religion, and therefore it is very irresponsible to teach it to children as if it were fact. Children are raised to believe that it is respectable to hold a belief or opinion without any evidence, and against all logic.

--> Pro is missing the point. Religion isn't about facts, evidence or logic. Religion is based on spirituality and FAITH. The whole concept behind religion is that you believe in something even if you cannot fully explain it. It is not irresponsible for parents to pass on their religious beliefs; in fact, it's a moral feat. Who is Pro to say that it is not respectable to hold a belief without any evidence?! Perhaps that is the beauty of the teaching, and one every parent has a right to instill in their child.

4. The children are not the only ones harmed by this indoctrination though.

--> But this debate is about a parent/child relationship, so let's try to stay on topic, please.

5. What about when the beliefs of ones parents are imposed on a child and actually do cause harm? (i.e. circumsision)

--> Circumcision is a medical procedure that is often performed for non-religious purposes. If Pro is attempting to argue that circumcision should not occur because of the potential dangers, this argument must extend outside of religious parameters and upon all of society... meaning circumcision should be outlawed on the grounds of child abuse. Pro must make a point for this in order for this argument to stand.

6. There are emotional effects of many religions too. The fear of hell is one belief that can inflict serious, and long lasting mental trauma on young individuals.

--> There are many things that can inflict serious and long lasting mental trauma on young individuals. For instance, negative images in the media can trigger deep-set negative feelings regarding self-esteem. Does that mean that TV, newspapers and magazines should be banned? The thought of going to prison is also another traumatizing thought. Should incarceration be illegal or never discussed? Apply the same concept to war, divorce or even striking out in a little league game. My point here is that society can only do so much to protect young citizens. Further, the counter-argument to a concept like Hell is Heaven and/or eternal bliss/salvation/enlightenment/etc. That thought can be COMFORTING.

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MY CASE:

1. Parental Rights
A) Moral Teachings
B) Religious Benefits
2. Cultural Impact
3. Changing Minds

Every parent has the right to raise their children the way they see fit (so long as it does not infringe upon a child's legal rights). This includes passing on any aspects of one's culture, including religious beliefs and practices. For some parents/people, religion is a link to morality. While I do not feel that one needs to be religious in order to comprehend morality, I do recognize the benefits of a parallel religious education. While Pro chooses only to outline the negative teachings of certain religions, he ignores fundamental concepts like justice, forgiveness, charity and other moral teachings upheld by various faiths.

Religion has also been known to improve other aspects of one's life. For instance, religion has been known to improve a person's mental well-being. It also promotes a sense of community which helps to form lasting relationships with others. Religion has helped people cope with death and other life obstacles; there have also been many documented cases where a person's beliefs have been the reason for their ability to fight a disease or overcome other health battles.

My point here is that while religion is not perfect, it does have its benefits. Parents have a right to pass on their beliefs and their culture. As one learns, grows and matures, they have the moral responsibility to adapt to society and all of its diversity. If they are smart - or appreciate a thorough education, understanding and appreciation of spirituality/culture - they have the right and the opportunity to educate themselves on other beliefs via schooling, the internet, the library, open forums of worship, etc. Nobody is forcing an adult or even a child to believe in anything. To affirm the resolution is to breach a mutual understanding between Church and State, and is a direct violation of human and parental rights.
Debate Round No. 1
bfitz1307

Pro

I like your format theLwerd so I'll stick with that.

1. "The main problem with Pro's case is that he is arguing from the standpoint that all religions are created equal. However, a believer of any religion would tell you that their religion is in fact the 'right' one. If they didn't feel that way, what would be the purpose of following a religion at all? Religion is not a fad... etc."

You didn't seem to argue against my later statement regarding the lack of evidence for most religious claims so I'd like to restate that. Now with that being the case, aren't all religions created equal then? Regardless of how strongly one believes in their religion, it does not make a stronger case for that belief system. If they can't provide any evidence for their claims then we have absolutely no way of measuring the credibility of each particular faith. Also, since faith is not based on evidence and logic then the faith must be derived from their parents reinforcement and not any inherent truth. Some may say that there are other important factors, but I believe that parental reinforcement is the main cause. To illustrate, consider the growing numbers of Muslims in England. Muslims have become the largest practicing religious group in England, which is historically Anglican, and more recently quite secular. The Muslims in England have accomplished this in an environment which does not reinforce their claims by indoctrinating their children at home, and sheltering them. Religion may not be a fad, but one's beliefs are more arbitrary than you let on. Consider a child adopted from a Muslim family into a Protestant family in America. No doubt this child would have been a follower of Islam, but will now become a Christian, for better or for worse. It is no different than an American family adopting a Chinese child which will now speak English. Should someone's views towards abortion, stem cell research, homosexuality, and the world in general be respected simply because their parents taught them to believe a certain way? It is one thing to develop a mature opinion on different topics based on logic and reason, but quite another to be brain washed into a world view based on faith.

2. I will stand by what I said regarding the requirement of a comparative religion class. Like I said the purpose would not be to advocate for a particular religion, but to examine each of the major religions claims on historical grounds. This does not violate the Establishment Clause in the constitution which clearly states "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion." This would not establish nor advocate one, only enhance the students perspective and understanding of other cultures.

3. "Pro is missing the point. Religion isn't about facts, evidence or logic. Religion is based on spirituality and FAITH. The whole concept behind religion is that you believe in something even if you cannot fully explain it."

That's fine if you want to believe that purple is better than orange, or grapes are better than apples, but when their faith infringes on the rights of others it is wrong. Raising a child to think that homosexuality is wrong because the bible says so not only does a disservice to the child, but also infringes on the rights of another human being. If they had some evidence for this claim it would be perfectly legitimate, but you have already admitted yourself that their beliefs are not based on facts, but instead blind faith.

4. Yes it is about the parent/child relationship, but these views are instilled in them as children and can cause great harm to society when they become adults. My argument is based on the harm that religion can cause so I must be able to convey that using example from the real world.

5. "Circumcision is a medical procedure that is often performed for non-religious purposes. If Pro is attempting to argue that circumcision should not occur because of the potential dangers, this argument must extend outside of religious parameters and upon all of society."

When is it performed for non-religious purposes? I do not believe that children should be having surgery to remove anything if it is not going to benefit the child by making them more healthy. Some studies have suggested that circumcision can reduce the chance of transmission of HIV during penile-vaginal sex, but this procedure could be undertaken at a later age when they are able to consent.

6. "There are many things that can inflict serious and long lasting mental trauma on young individuals. For instance, negative images in the media can trigger deep-set negative feelings regarding self-esteem. Does that mean that TV, newspapers and magazines should be banned?"

This statement is ludicrous. No parent forces their child to watch violent movies, graphic television shows, or view negative content on magazines. Any exposure to negative, or harmful material of this nature is often unintentional and not reinforced on a daily basis. It is not a permanent mind set as the fear or hell. I was raised in a conservative protestant church and know the effects of this teaching. Every time you think of doing something that goes against the religious doctrine you remind yourself of the consequences of your actions. I sat in church an witnessed my 9 year old cousin cry when the minister spoke about the torments of hell, and I felt terrible that there was nothing I could do to help. It is not the same.

7. "Every parent has the right to raise their children the way they see fit (so long as it does not infringe upon a child's legal rights)."

I would argue that their teaching should not infringe on the rights of others either. ex. Homosexuality, abortion, etc.

8. "While Pro chooses only to outline the negative teachings of certain religions, he ignores fundamental concepts like justice, forgiveness, charity and other moral teachings upheld by various faiths."

The reason I am focused on the negative is because the concepts you listed exist outside of religious societies, and can easily be maintained in a secular society. Teach your child to be just not because they'll go to hell if they aren't, but instead because it is a good thing.

9. "Religion has helped people cope with death and other life obstacles; there have also been many documented cases where a person's beliefs have been the reason for their ability to fight a disease or overcome other health battles."

I'd bet on medicine and science every time over prayer or any religious placebo affect. Religion, especially in America, does more harm than good when it come to saving lives. ex. Stem cell research, and the Catholic church's stance on condoms.

10. "they (children I'm assuming) have the right and the opportunity to educate themselves on other beliefs via schooling, the internet, the library, open forums of worship, etc. Nobody is forcing an adult or even a child to believe in anything."

This is quite a naive statement. Consider the growing number of conservative parents who choose to home school their children, or send them to a religious private school. Home schooling was virtually unheard of until the conservative revolution in America in the 1980's. Ever heard of parental controls? Most children's internet use is monitored. I don't know many children who tell their parents that they aren't going to church and get away with it. Most wouldn't even try, and if they did they'd most likely be told they're coming whether they like it or not.
Danielle

Con

1A. RE: Lack of Evidence

--> Religions DO consider instruments such as The Bible a piece of evidence.

--> Again, religion is not based on evidence! You ask if that's the case, wouldn't that make all religions equal. The answer is no - not to a believer. The inherent belief itself causes you to denounce all other faiths. It's not based on which group provides more evidence but rather comes from the notion that mine is right so all others automatically have to be wrong, regardless of whatever 'evidence' they provide. Beliefs > evidence. Remember that if someone believes in something 100% then it doesn't matter if it's real or not. What matters is the fact that they THINK it's real.

1B. RE: Since faith is not based on evidence and logic then the faith must be derived from their parents reinforcement and not any inherent truth.

--> See above. Also, regarding your point that beliefs are quite arbitrary, this logic actually backs up a previous point of mine where I said that people do not have to believe what their parents tell them to. They can take their parents advice; however, they have the right and the ability to change their minds or live/believe how they please... at least after aged 18.

2. RE: I will stand by what I said regarding the requirement of a comparative religion class.

--> Parents have a right to raise their children however they please (within legal parameters). Today, if a parent does not want their child being taught about such natural things such as puberty and sex, then a parent has the right to deny permission for their child to be exposed to such subjects in school. The thinking behind that is that a parent will teach or deal with these issues however they see fit without leaving it up to the school.

Similarly, if a class like this were required, apprehensive parents may deny their child the opportunity of taking such a class. This would defeat the entire purpose of your proposal. It would also prove nothing other than the fact that a parent wishes to monitor their children and what lessons they are taught. They may not want their children being exposed to conflicting ideals, which doesn't reflect ignorance, but rather indicates a parent's concern about what their children are being taught and by whom. Remember: everyone has an agenda.

Further, if a parent DIDN'T object to a child taking such a class, this would dismantle your whole point about parents indoctrinating their children. Why? Because this demonstrates that even if parents indoctrinate their children to believe one thing, they are still open to their children learning about other cultures.

3. RE: Raising a child to think that homosexuality is wrong because the bible says so... infringes on the rights of others.

--> A parent does not need a Bible to teach their child that homosexuality is wrong. Children tend to emulate their parents' beliefs in general with or without the presence of religion. If a parent feels that abortion is wrong, even if they are atheist, then presumably this parent will pass that notion onto their child as well... and why shouldn't they? Like I said, a parent's JOB is to teach morality to their children. If religion is a corner stone of morality for them, then they are undoubtedly going to include/consider that when raising their children.

Additionally, a major discrepancy here is that you're making assumptions and greatly generalizing religion in a way that is incredibly misleading. For instance, I know many Catholics who support the legalization of gay marriage even if their Holy Book claims that homosexuality is a sin. You cannot prove that one will feel a certain way about all moral issues based on the religion they practice alone. Another example is the Death Penalty. Catholics are generally split 50/50 on this moral dilemma.

4. RE: The result of this parent/child relationship can harm society.

--> The key word here is CAN. Further, this cannot be the basis of any real argumentation. For instance, divorce is another aspect of home-life that can have an affect on a parent/child relationship. A child from a broken home may have skewed ideals about love and marriage which can also harm society. However, are you suggesting that divorce not be allowed either? Of course not. Thus this idea is not a good foundation for your argument.

5. RE: Circumcision

--> 60 - 65% of American males are circumcised at birth (it used to be 90%). This indicates that it is not for religious purposes, as the Jews do not circumcise their young at birth (in the hospital). People choose to circumcise their children because it is believed to be more sanitary. It was also a cultural thing for awhile, i.e. the majority DID circumcise their children, so most people followed suit.

--> The main point here is, "I do not believe that children should be having surgery to remove anything if it is not going to benefit the child by making them more healthy." That's great. And if/when you become a parent, you can apply this concept to your choices. HOWEVER, you cannot speak for every other parent in the world. Your downfall in this debate is relying too much on your personal opinion.

6. RE: Children being exposed to things that scare them.

--> Ok, if a parent believes that it is imperative that their child succeed academically, and every single day they essentially force their child to study (over other social hobbies), they are actively sending their child down a path that he or she may not want or agree with. Perhaps by nature the child is a more artistic person rather than into their studies. It doesn't matter - the parent believes that they are greatly benefiting their child by introducing such a strenuous work ethic, and so nobody can say that they SHOULDN'T be encouraging such good study habits, because overall people believe that the child will benefit from such urgency. And maybe they will. This same logic applies to religion. Again, parents feel that by including religion in their children's lives, they are not only fulfilling their parental role and giving their children the gift of faith, but to believers this is also a moral obligation - one that cannot be reasoned with. Again, God's word > yours.

7. RE: Parents should not teach their child anything that could infringe upon the rights of others, i.e. homosexuality or abortion.

--> IS THIS FOR REAL? Parents have a right to teach their children about right and wrong! Just because you may disagree with their opinions does not mean that they do not have the right to pass on their moral inclinations. If you were pro-choice but 90% of the country was pro-life, and you had children, would you rather them just be culturally brainwashed by the majority OR pass on your own beliefs in addition about what you think is morally permissible, in order to give them a better platform of ideas? Hmm?

8. RE: Teach your child to be just not because they'll go to hell if they aren't, but instead because it is a good thing.

How about you not tell me how to raise my kids and I won't tell you how to raise yours. Plus, not every religion relies on Hell as a scare-tactic.

9. RE: Religion does not save lives.

--> Just because Catholicism may not support stem cell research or the use of condoms does not mean that people won't use condoms anyway. Further, this particular religion denounces abortion, and you have no way of knowing how many lives were saved because of this.

10. RE: Subject to change.

First you said that religion was arbitrary, and now you're arguing that children don't have a choice... well make up your mind. I know that my personal religious beliefs have done a complete 180 since the time I was 15 (I'm 21 now). Further, for you to suggest that home-schooling was unheard of until the 1980s is absurdly ignorant. Even today only 2.4% of children are home-schooled.

* Unfortunately I'm out of characters...
Debate Round No. 2
bfitz1307

Pro

I would like to start my rebuttal by reminding you that this debate is not about what parents can do, or what they in fact do, but instead what they should do.

1. "Religions DO consider instruments such as The Bible a piece of evidence. Again, religion is not based on evidence! You ask if that's the case, wouldn't that make all religions equal. The answer is no - not to a believer. Beliefs > evidence"

Mere beliefs do not qualify as evidence. So it does make all religions equal. It doesn't matter if the believer can't recognize that, outside parties can. Believers in the Christian faith claim to know that all other religions are of equal value, and that value is 0. Ironically a Muslim considers Christianity and all other faiths to be of no value either, etc. So it doesn't matter what the believer thinks. I'm very surprised that you have decided to make the case that belief supersedes evidence. Belief can't change reality.

2. "Also, regarding your point that beliefs are quite arbitrary, this logic actually backs up a previous point of mine where I said that people do not have to believe what their parents tell them to."

No it actually doesn't back up your point, you are mistaken about what part of this is arbitrary. What is arbitrary is the faith that they are ultimately brought up in. The child doesn't select which faith they are taught, and that is what is arbitrary in this situation. A young child can be taught to believe anything, and that is where the danger lies. That is why it is so important to instill a respect for evidence, and logic instead of following something blindly. When a 5 year olds parents inform them that the earth was created in 7 days are they going to contradict them? Will they go look it up for themselves? By the time they reach the age that they can start to grasp some scientific concepts they've already been told for their entire life that God did it.

3. "Parents have a right to raise their children however they please (within legal parameters). Today, if a parent does not want their child being taught about such natural things such as puberty and sex, then a parent has the right to deny permission for their child to be exposed to such subjects in school."

Again this debate is not about what parents are allowed to do, but what they should do. I'm sure you'll say that I shouldn't tell people how to raise their kids, but I'm not arguing in favor of this to please myself, but because I think it would make our society better if we cut out all the crap. So yes parents CAN teach their kids that their religion is true, or that homosexuality is wrong by fiat, or that men are inferior to women, or that blacks are inferior to other races. I know you think parents CAN teach their kids these things, but do you really think that they SHOULD?

4. "A parent does not need a Bible to teach their child that homosexuality is wrong. Children tend to emulate their parents' beliefs in general with or without the presence of religion. If a parent feels that abortion is wrong, even if they are atheist, then presumably this parent will pass that notion onto their child as well."

No they don't need the bible to do it, but many people do use the bible as a justification to deny gay people their rights as human beings. I don't want to get into whether people choose to be gay or are born that way. I am of the opinion that they're born that way, but that's just my opinion. Some science supports it and some doesn't. Most people don't realize that the bible reflects the views of a particular culture during a particular time period, and because of this cannot be expected to apply to all people, in all places, throughout all of history. The views of an ancient middle eastern culture are being extrapolated and stretched to govern the way enlighten people of the 21st century live their lives. We're simply better than that.

4b. On generalizing, misrepresenting views of religious people. A Gallup poll taken on May 15, 2008 found that nationally 56% of Americans were against legalizing gay marriage. This study was done by taking simple random samples and included religious as well as non-religious people. I doubt that in general Catholics (are more sympathetic to the gay cause than Americans (40%) in general. I think I'll trust a nation poll done by Gallup, and not a sampling of the Catholics you know.

5. On Classes... "Further, if a parent DIDN'T object to a child taking such a class, this would dismantle your whole point about parents indoctrinating their children."

Actually it wouldn't dismantle my argument because again I'm saying that a parent shouldn't indoctrinate their child, and if they aren't doing that then how can I be wrong? I'm not saying every believer indoctrinates their child, but only that those that do shouldn't.

6. "The key word here is CAN. Further, this cannot be the basis of any real argumentation. For instance, divorce is another aspect of home-life that can have an affect on a parent/child relationship. A child from a broken home may have skewed ideals about love and marriage which can also harm society. However, are you suggesting that divorce not be allowed either? Of course not. Thus this idea is not a good foundation for your argument."

Again you are misrepresenting me. Whether they can or not is not the foundation of my argument. My argument revolves around whether they should or not, and I argue that they shouldn't because society would be better off without it. On divorce - Of course parents should be allowed to get divorced, but the affect that this has on a child is merely a by product. In contrast, a particular religion is taught to a child because the parent thinks it is good for them, when in fact it is not. Just because not every child grows up to be a religious fanatic does not mean that the teachings are virtuous. Does that mean it's ok to teach kids that blacks are inferior even though we have evidence that proves it's not true, because surely not every child will believe it?

7. Circumcision - I agree that it is prevalent in the US, and obviously sanitary conditions are much better here. When I raised concerns about the practice, and the health effects I was thinking more of Judaic and Islamic countries where it is mainly done for religious reasons and is not normally performed by a doctor. In Islam it is not uncommon for females genitals to be mutilated either, and for that I see no justification.

8. Regarding forcing kids to do things. I don't believe forcing children to study and work hard is comparable to indoctrinating them with views on morality for which they have no evidence. There is tangible evidence that a higher level of education is directly linked to better pay, and a better life in general. For one case there is evidence, and for the other there is none. So no the same logic does not apply.

9. "Parents have a right to teach their children about right and wrong! Just because you may disagree with their opinions does not mean that they do not have the right to pass on their moral inclinations."

Yes they do have that right, but there are often no disclaimers that go along with these lessons. Disclaimers such as, this is just my opinion and I have no evidence for it. Instead they are taught that if they do not follow this set of laws that they will go to hell. I would prefer that they not be brainwashed by anyone. Why must a 9 year old be told what to think on abortion, or homosexuality? Shouldn't they be allowed to evaluate the evidence for themselves at a proper age?

10. "Further, this particular religion (Catholicism) denounces abortion, and you have no way of knowing how many lives were saved because of this."

Yes life has been saved, the life of a group of cells which add up to no more than the number of cells in a fruit fly. Depends when and where you think it's a human life. I won't go there.
Danielle

Con

1. Mere beliefs do not qualify as evidence... I'm very surprised that you have decided to make the case that belief supersedes evidence. Belief can't change reality.

--> I'm very surprised too considering that I haven't made that argument at all. Rather my point is NOT that belief supersedes evidence, but rather the POWER of belief supersedes evidence. We see this all the time: consider evolution, for example, or the story of Creation (we know that the Earth was not formed in 6 days). Yet believers denounce all logic and evidence as rubbish, or find a way to manipulate the facts to suit their liking. So my point here is that EVEN THOUGH you and I may be able to distinguish fact from fiction, and see that the Bible is not the be-all end-all of humanity, believers do NOT share in that sentiment and there is nothing that you or I can do about it (assuming that they're good Christians, of course, who will not be persuaded).

2. A young child can be taught to believe anything, and that is where the danger lies. That is why it is so important to instill a respect for evidence, and logic instead of following something blindly.

--> You're excluding my points about all of the good that religion can introduce here, such as the values of generosity and embracing community. What's so wrong about a child learning that from a young age? Further, to "instill a respect for evidence" is suggestive of the fact that evidence is greater than faith, which is the total opposite ideal that religions embrace. Moreover, you're forgetting my point that religions tend to either disregard evidence entirely, or manipulate the facts to suit their beliefs.

While I may agree that this can be disruptive to education and even societal progression, I also understand that for believers, following 'blind faith' is pretty much the whole POINT. And while I do not believe that religion should have any part of politics, for example, I do acknowledge that everyone has the RIGHT to follow whichever religion they choose. They also have a right to pass on those beliefs and that part of their culture to their children. I noticed that Pro has completely ignored my comments regarding religion being a very important aspect of one's culture... hmm.

3. Again this debate is not about what parents are allowed to do, but what they should do. I'm sure you'll say that I shouldn't tell people how to raise their kids, but I'm not arguing in favor of this to please myself, but because I think it would make our society better if we cut out all the crap. So yes parents CAN teach their kids that their religion is true, or that homosexuality is wrong by fiat, or that men are inferior to women, or that blacks are inferior to other races. I know you think parents CAN teach their kids these things, but do you really think that they SHOULD?

--> Well you're right about one thing: I don't think you should tell people how to raise their kids. Aside from that, the fact that you are arguing in favor of the resolution because you believe it will benefit society really has no value. With all due respect, I couldn't care less why you are arguing this point -- the fact remains that I still disagree with you.

But moving on, you then posed the question of whether or not a parent SHOULD teach their children that homosexuality is wrong, women are inferior to men, blacks are inferior to whites, etc, just because they CAN teach them that. In response, I will first have to point out that this is completely abusive in terms of your point. Simply because one endorses a particular religion does NOT mean that they also endorse homophobia, racism or sexism. You're trying to draw a comparison between these analogies where none exists, and as a result, are attempting to manipulate this point by suggesting once again that religion only promotes intolerance and hatred.

Have you ever considered a lesson in which a parent might say to a child, "Well the Bible notes homosexuality as sinful; however, this Book was written by men hundreds of years ago when the world was not as tolerant as it is today..." ??? My point is that it is absolutely possible for a parent to pass religion onto their child while still teaching them to RESPECT people of other cultures and beliefs, even if they find another religious beliefs to be inferior. Remember that thinking another's religion is inferior has nothing to do with thinking that the other PERSON is inferior -- it's just that truly having faith in your creed means that any other belief is of no spiritual value to you.

4. The views of an ancient middle eastern culture are being extrapolated and stretched to govern the way enlighten people of the 21st century live their lives. We're simply better than that.

--> And I would agree with you here. However you're forgetting 2 very important things: One, not everyone follows the Bible to a T. Many Christians are accepting that a lot of the Bible is metaphorical rather than literal. Even so, the fact that Christians do not adhere 100% to the Bible proves that there are exceptions, so to speak. And second, what does the Bible really have to do with this debate anyway? We're talking about religion in general here, and only Christians follow the Bible. Pro cannot make the same accusations about Buddhists or Taoists, so...

4B. Catholics and the Gallup Poll

--> First of all, once again I strongly dislike limiting to the term 'religion' in this debate to apply strictly to Christians or Catholics in particular. However with this point, I think you were attempting to prove that Catholics in general were less accepting of gay marriage than Americans chosen at random. However this statistic is completely flawed, because you have no way of knowing that the Americans chosen at random weren't also Catholic or religious...? Anyway this point of yours was frankly incoherent, but since we're talking about Catholics, and this debate is about kids, I figured I'd share this statistic since you apparently trust the Gallup Poll more than my own judgment (and rightfully so): "Catholic youth, however, appear to be nearly evenly divided [on the issue of gay marriage]: 52% approve and 48% disapprove."

Source: http://www.gallup.com...

5. I've already made my point that theoretically, all true believers of any faith will automatically deem other religions in a sense 'wrong.' It doesn't mean that they don't respect other beliefs, but if you believe in one thing 100% then you cannot believe in another. For instance, either you believe Jesus was God or you don't.

6. My argument revolves around whether they should or not, and I argue that they shouldn't because society would be better off without it... In contrast, a particular religion is taught to a child because the parent thinks it is good for them, when in fact it is not.

--> Not once in this debate has Pro proved or even attempted to prove that society or children in general would be better off without religion.

7. When I raised concerns about the practice [of circumcision], and the health effects I was thinking more of Judaic and Islamic countries where it is mainly done for religious reasons.

--> So now you're saying that in Middle Eastern countries where they have THEOCRACIES that religion should not be taught?! That's ridiculous...

8. There is tangible evidence that a higher level of education is directly linked to better pay, and a better life in general.

--> I've explained the benefits of religion in one's life, and besides, Pro is suggesting that better pay is more substantial than moral living as it pertains to religion, which to believers, is just not the case.

9. I would prefer that [children] not be brainwashed by anyone.

--> If it's not religion, it'll be the kid in class. Or the media. Or the magazines. Etc.

10. Yeah, abortion is a whole other issue... let's not get into it.
Debate Round No. 3
8 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 8 records.
Posted by whiteflame 5 months ago
whiteflame
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>Reported vote: fire_wings// Mod action: Removed<

2 points to Pro (Sources). Reasons for voting decision:

[*Reason for removal*] Vote placed outside of what is considered to be reasonable expectations for proper voting conduct. Contact head moderator Airmax1227 for details.
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Posted by thereal_yeti 7 years ago
thereal_yeti
Sucha difficult topic!

SHOULD parent's teach their kids that homosexuality is wrong and sinful? NO... Because I believe that to be the wrong opinion, and it damages society to have that opinion articulated, ESPECIALLY to children.

HOWEVER, in the parent's eyes.. IT IS SINFUL AND IMORAL.. So.. .. YES they SHOULD teach their kids that!

I would go as far to say that it would be IMORAL for the parent's NOT TO. If they HONESTLY believe that their kids will go to hell for not believing in jesus christ, They would be BAD PARENTS if they did not take them to church and try to indoctrinate them!

Now, My parent's didn't drag me to church, but they said I could go. I didn't, I thought about the issues myself, and the results, I am a atheist.
Posted by Mattsterpiece1993 8 years ago
Mattsterpiece1993
Well, personally a believe religion to be a plague upon society that derives from our lack of knowledge. We have more answers now, however the harm to the majority's intelligence is already done.

We even have good reason to not believe there was every a Jesus. Typical sources in support of his existence would include Tantalus and the like, however he made huge errors in his recordings at the time. Anything else of a different source would lie in the same source where the claim of his existence derives from (the Bible). That is what we call circular reasoning.
Posted by CiRrO 8 years ago
CiRrO
lol, I got my wisdom teeth pulled at the beginning of the summer. They did mine relatively early because they needed to impact them. I.e. remove a part of my jaw. My wisdom teeth were crooked and if I didn't remove them quickly, then they would have ruined the work of my previously worn braces. lol, why did I tell you this?
Posted by Danielle 8 years ago
Danielle
I JUST DID THIS DEBATE ON EXCESSIVE AMOUNTS OF HYDROCODONE AND I'M IN RIDICULOUS PAIN... AHHHHHHHH!
Posted by Danielle 8 years ago
Danielle
I'm getting my Wisdom Teeth pulled out today so I have no idea when I'll be able to respond (the dentist is putting me under a ridiculous amount of anasthesia, and then giving me tons of vicodin for the pain). I suppose that I will be out of it for a few days; however, hopefully I will be feeling better by tomorrow morning at the very least, at least enough so that I can respond. I apologize for not getting around to this last night but I'm involved with 4 other debates...! So hopefully I will be back soon. Take care.
Posted by Rezzealaux 8 years ago
Rezzealaux
"Regardless of how strongly one believes in their religion, it does not make a stronger case for that belief system."

YES. EPIC WIN.

It doesn't matter if religious people think that their beliefs are fact. THEY'RE WRONG.
Posted by USAPitBull63 8 years ago
USAPitBull63
Perhaps parents shouldn't indoctrinate their children to believe that no religion is superior to another, also. Or that anti-religion is best. So I guess it's a Catch-22. Raise your kids how you think is best, without causing a likely harm to society.
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