The Instigator
achmed242
Pro (for)
Tied
0 Points
The Contender
nkrim
Con (against)
Tied
0 Points

Should children be raised to believe what they see fit?

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 1/14/2013 Category: Philosophy
Updated: 4 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 772 times Debate No: 29189
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (5)
Votes (0)

 

achmed242

Pro

Should children be raised as free thinkers, believeing what they see fit. Or should they be forced to believe what their parents to, until they become of age.
Round 1 acceptance
Round 2 opening arguments
Round 3 Rebuttals
Round 4 Closing Arguments
nkrim

Con

I accept your debate.
Debate Round No. 1
achmed242

Pro

Children minds are open to the world. What we teach them is what they learn, it is how they live there lives. If a child has the potential to do great things, then they may when they get older. But, if they are taught something when they are young, something in a religion, they may not reach there full potential. While faith can be good, in can also restrict someone's life. For example, say a woman, born in to this world, has the potential to develop huge leaps in space travel, or figure out the cure for cancer, but she is a Muslim. Under that religion, she will never have the chance to reach her full potential. It may not b as extreme, but women are also kept down in some fundamentalist Christian rings.
Children must be taught to think freely. If they are able to reach their own conclusions, they have happy lives that they truly believe in. Would you rather a child be indoctrinated under a god they have doubts about, or be allowed to choose what they believe. Or maybe it is the opposite. I'm not saying this is a religion free thing. Atheists parents should allow their children to believe what they want, although, most do, given the nature of atheism.
It does not only apply to religion. I know, living in Nebraska, that most of the teenagers here are republicans. When asked why, they say, "Because my parents are." This is a prime example. Parents preach what they think about the government/some country/person, and they believe what their parents say. Maybe they say some messed up things, then you have another pu$$y liberal or a$$hole conservative, spouting their parties slogans, without knowing what it means. If at a young age, children are not given all of the facts, presented both sides, they grow up without knowledge that could help them in their social development. That is why I feel that children should be allowed to draw their own conclusions.
nkrim

Con

Now, I believe that once a child reaches a the late teens, almost into adulthood, they should be presented the other side of political parties or other alternatives to their previously taught faith, and I agree that sometimes a tradition from your parents can inherently stick with you, like a commitment to a sports team most commonly. However, there are many topic areas where if a young child is presented the options, they may just choose an option without the full grasp of it and it seems redundant for a family to allow a child to, say, pick to believe in christianity when they are most likely in an environment which will lead them to stray from it anyway.
Children look up to their parents, in many cases they want to be like them, if a child is forced a belief extremely aggressively then I agree it is wrong, but if two parents are democrats and they let their child pick to be democrat or republican, in many circumstances they won't be of age to fully grasp what that means, maybe they'll pick republican because they like elephants better than donkeys, or maybe they'll pick democrat because Obama seems like a cooler guy than Romney, but it will probably end up them picking democrat because they're parents are democrats. When I was a kid I was always scared that I would fail to make my parent proud in some areas, and I feel that that applies to many people, and if the parents beliefs are not imposed on the children, they'll probably pick it anyway not only because the parents believe it but because there is a likely chance that their community believes it and the whole way they were raised intrinsically leads to one side or another. A christian family is not going to ask their infant child if it wants to be baptized, they will baptize it. They will go to church, they will bring their child to church from the time before it can speak. It will be told about god before it even knows what it is, and it is likely that the child will believe in god just as much as any would believe in the tooth fairy, easter bunny, or santa clause, but in this cause the parents won't tell them that god isn't real.
The last argument, to sum it up, was mainly about the redundancy of raising a child to "believe what they see fit," but that may have gone off on a bit of a tangent, so let me return to why a child should not be let loose into the world of beliefs alone. I don't know what my opponent here describes as a "child" but in my mind it is someone below the age of around 15, because at that point no one would really call them a child as they are starting to get hired for jobs and start driving and it is an introductory period to the adult life. So, I am going to approach this as if it were a child from infant to around 14 years old. Now, at the extreme end, even a 14 year old may want to be rebellious and go against what he was most likely taught to believe, but let's say he wasn't taught to believe anything. His parents just fed him, tucked him in at night, read him a few stories, and sent him off to school each day to be taught by the secular education system would seem completely unbiased. However, even the teachers could be accused of slowly instilling beliefs unto a child, and will most likely lead to atheism in the religious point of view as they are not being introduced to any religion. BUT let's just say that's not the case and the school is entirely unbiased, what is the child TO believe. Things are being talked about politics and religion and sexuality and morals, but what should they believe. How should they know they don't even know what any of that is, they've never heard of a libertarian, an episcopalian, a homosexual, or even "the golden rule." Let's just say that I personally would be extremely confused about all of that.
If a child is TRULY let to believe what they want to believe, they could "believe" that they are better than everyone else and that those kids with darker skin than them are lesser, or rather everyone else is lesser... but that would be immoral wouldn't it? Well, you're the parent who decided not to teach them morals because that's telling them what they should believe. Now I could be creating a loophole from the vagueness of the topic, but I'm just throwing out an idea in case that is what my opponent believes.
Now, in a less extreme situation, let's just say that the child is deeply confused about the whole idea of religion. The child's parents have told him about different religions and what they stand for, and this has been presented to them since a very young age so it is not a new topic, but this child is still say around the age of 12, what does the child truly know about any of these religions. The child was taught his morals from a purely agnostic and existential point of view with no bias, but the child knows nothing else but what he was raised with even if it wasn't forced on him, and if he were to choose catholicism it would be equally likely that he chooses satanism as he has no idea what to think because of his age, and everyone knows that the prepubescent teenage years can be one full of strange phases, and without a firm and constant foundation of a belief system from their parents then the child will be all over the place with their beliefs and my end up taking a liking towards a cult or maybe they decide tend towards an illegal drug because they believe it should be legalized and that there is no wrong in doing something that should be legal.
Finally, it is only until a child starts to truly get out of the house and explore away from the environment in which they were raised that they will truly start to adapt their beliefs to what is truly right for them. And in many cases you cannot stop someone from conforming to the ideas of their parents or of their community as that is all a child knows at the time and it would be very hard for them to think of believing something that all of those people don't. Most children who choose not to believe what their parents believe are entering a rebellious phase and if that behavior is dismissed and neglected than it could lead to further problems. Growing children need the firm foundation that a pre-instructed belief system provides, and it is only once they have entered adulthood that they can truly decide for themselves what is right.
Debate Round No. 2
achmed242

Pro

achmed242 forfeited this round.
nkrim

Con

nkrim forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3
5 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 5 records.
Posted by achmed242 4 years ago
achmed242
I'm sorry but i can't continue. My life is falling apart. I really can't. I'm sorry.
Posted by achmed242 4 years ago
achmed242
sorry i forgot to add four rounds,accident, so just give you opening in the second round, then rebuttal and closing in the third
Posted by Cobo 4 years ago
Cobo
That topic is sooo loaded...
Posted by likespeace 4 years ago
likespeace
Perhaps, "Should parents be allowed to teach children about their own beliefs, or should children be presented with both sides of every issue, and encouraged to make their own choice."
Posted by likespeace 4 years ago
likespeace
The con side of your resolution doesn't even particularly make sense--"Should they be forced to believe what their parents to, until they become of age." As parents, we have no way, as far as I am aware, to force our children to believe a particular thing. The most we can do is tell them what we believe, which the youngest children will often accept uncritically.
No votes have been placed for this debate.