The Instigator
bornagainagnostic
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
Marauder
Con (against)
Winning
8 Points

Teaching children religion is borderline child abuse and should be discouraged.

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 3/30/2010 Category: Religion
Updated: 6 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 2,584 times Debate No: 11585
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (6)
Votes (2)

 

bornagainagnostic

Pro

We, as the USA society, believe in the rights of the individual to decide for themselves what they want to do with their lives. No one has the right to tell us what job we should do, whom we should marry, where we should live, what kind of car we should drive, or what religion we should follow. If this is true and we consider children to be persons with the same rights, then we should not be forcing them to adhere to a particular religious belief which they will most likely be stuck with the rest of their lives.

However, because of traditional thought, we somehow think it is acceptable to tell our kids how they should believe about supernatural beings. This is wrong on a number of levels. Children are not mature enough to critically analyze the topic of religion. They are gullible and wired by nature to take everything their parents tell them as the absolute truth. They are easily intimidated and coerced by their elders. They have a right to decide on their own what they chose to believe.

We don't (for the most part) tell our children the MUST be doctors when the grow up, even if we encourage them to do so. We don't insist they become republicans, even if it is likely they will. We don't arrange marriages for them (at least in this country). And we don't condone those who teach their children to be racists. Then why do we consider it a parents right to predetermine what a child should believe?
Marauder

Con

I thank my opponent for starting this debate.

My opponent neglected to give a definition for child abuse, probably because that would show his resolution is either a hyperbole, or just an absurd notion. He did add 'borderline' to the resolution witch may be good enough to tolerate how strict he needs to prove 'religion' meets the qualities of child abuse, but we shall see as the debate moves on how seriously he takes his own resolution. For he must prove not only mere discouragement of teaching 'religion' but that it borders child abuse.

If we see how child abuse is defined by law at this site http://www.oregon.gov... we have a better idea for how to judge education of religion if it meets those criteria. Besides the traditional qualifications under physical abuse they are a few other ways to qualify as child abuse.

Neglect:Neglect is failing to provide adequate food, clothing, shelter, supervision or medical care.
Now for the Jehovah's Witnesses, my opponent just might have a case hear in terms of medical neglect. http://www.religioustolerance.org... But the resolution involves all education on religion as a whole, not a single religion in itself.
as pointed out in my source, neglect can include encouragement or exposure to a particular activity, but only if its illegal. Now my opponent could start arguing that 'teaching religion' should be illegal if he wants to in the next round, but it would require he contradict his round one arguments on the rights of the individual to choose what to believe.

But I would not find such a contradiction relevant because that would involve tolerating my opponents current path of thought, that an education on any given subject connects with choice of what to believe. If individual A attends all the same classes as individual B from birth and continues to attained all the same educational classes it does not follow that they will believe the same things always even if just referring to subjects pertaining to those classes.
Even if your parents teach and encourage you to believe the same faith as they have, it provides next to no imposition on there child's choice of what to believe. Take resident DDO member FREEDO for example http://www.debate.org... He is 15 right now and has very insistent parents that he believe in God yet he makes his choice with strong conviction to not believe in anything of the sort.

My opponent appeals to fundamental beliefs held by the United States of America as a basis for his argument. Why my opponent does not find this beliefs as a religion I do not know, if you check the back of a penny or a 5 dollar bill you will see the image of a temple built for its God. Whether or not the USA beliefs are religious is not important though, because unless you are prepared to claim the USA a holder of only perfect views it is not authoritative on this one. I could just as easily cite the views of our Native American ancestors views to defend against his position http://www.powersource.com... They believe it is our duty to pass on our beliefs in our children, for your children is all that is left of you when you die. To be honest that Cherokee wisdom makes a lot more since to me than your US wisdom. We must try to teach our children our own ways, for that the ultimate objective in even having a child, it is the true security you can have in making sure your life was not a waist.

But my opponent of course will not care for such wisdom for that involves caring about our children, and he hates our children, he is an ageist. it is like a raciest except his prejudice is based on age. He claims Children are not mature enough to critically analyze topics like religion. Does he know I wonder that they are children as young as TWO years old in MENSA http://www.dailymail.co.uk... If we look at the video I have provided I think we should consider adults as the ones who are not able to critically analyze, not our children. I have already provided an example in FREEDO on why my opponent is mistaken about how easily intimidation decides the beliefs of ones child. If anything it would confirm for us that a little bit of Intimidation helps strengthen ones resolve in there dissenting belief.

In conclusion:

1) I have shown education on beliefs are no where near 'Borderline' child abuse.
2) There is even good reason to encourage attempt at passing on your beliefs in your child, any other contribution you make to the world outside of how your child is raised can rot, but your child's character and the beliefs that drive go on forever in your child and your child's child that he passes them onto in turn.
3) The inability for children to think critically on such a simple subject is false notion. And an ageist one.
4) Being an ageist, is my opponent really the person to take any opinions from on child abuse. It is those that respect the youth that should be considered to actually care about the youth.

I await my opponents response.
Debate Round No. 1
bornagainagnostic

Pro

Thanks for the response and sorry it took so long to reply. Work must be done.

" that an education on any given subject connects with choice of what to believe."
Of course early childhood education has a deep and lasting impact on what the child thinks and believes. But, of course, you are missing the other important aspects of the kind of indoctrination that parents are uniquely in a position to wield. It is one thing for a school teacher to instruct the child and encourage them to do what they want. However, parents have the power of guilt, punishment and estrangement to coerce their kids to do, think and believe as they wish. In fact, one of the unique things about humans is that we are born prematurely (yes, even at full term of 9 months). This requires us to be taught everything (except the most basic skills) by our parents. In fact, children learn much of what they learn by copying their parents.

" If individual A attends all the same classes as individual B from birth and continues to attained all the same educational classes it does not follow that they will believe the same things always even if just referring to subjects pertaining to those classes. "
Agreed. Not all people stick with their parents religion. However a recent study shows that about half do. And those who do change are often burdened with guilt trips from their parents. Anecdotally, I can tell you that this happened to me.

"Even if your parents teach and encourage you to believe the same faith as they have, it provides next to no imposition on there child's choice of what to believe. "
True. Not all children grow up sticking with their parents religion. Many do. Some out of feelings of guilt. There is no legal requirement; it is psychological.

"Take resident DDO member FREEDO for example http://www.debate.org...... He is 15 right now and has very insistent parents that he believe in God yet he makes his choice with strong conviction to not believe in anything of the sort."

Anecdotal.

"My opponent appeals to fundamental beliefs held by the United States of America as a basis for his argument. Why my opponent does not find this beliefs as a religion I do not know"

Why my opponent would think the right of individual liberty and self-determination is a religion I don't know. I certainly did not say that nor do I believe that. Please explain.

", if you check the back of a penny or a 5 dollar bill you will see the image of a temple built for its God. "
The Lincoln memorial? Maybe you were referring to the Treasury. Even so, one does not worship an inanimate object and money is not a supreme, creator being. You cannot equate the two. Nice try.

‘Whether or not the USA beliefs are religious is not important though, because unless you are prepared to claim the USA a holder of only perfect views it is not authoritative on this one. "
The question is not whether USA views on personal liberty are perfect or better than anyone Else's. The fact is that our constitution outlines our rights as human beings in America. We could argue about human rights in China or Iran, but
So, are you claiming that human beings do not have right to free will and the ability to determine their own path?

"I could just as easily cite the views of our Native American ancestors views to defend against his position http://www.powersource.com...... They believe it is our duty to pass on our beliefs in our children, for your children is all that is left of you when you die. "
We are not talking about other values. We are talking about traditional American values. Do not try to drag this off topic.

"To be honest that Cherokee wisdom makes a lot more since to me than your US wisdom. "
Good for you.

"We must try to teach our children our own ways, for that the ultimate objective in even having a child, it is the true security you can have in making sure your life was not a waist."

So the ultimate objective of having a child is to make little clones of ourselves. I am sure most people will disagree with you. And I am sure most adults who were raised as little clones of their parents wished that they hadn't. After all, shouldn't't we all be able to choose how we want to live our lives. Why should anyone, including our parents, decide what will be when we grow up?

"But my opponent of course will not care for such wisdom for that involves caring about our children, and he hates our children, he is an ageist. "
Here you are making a huge leap of faith. How in the world do you get out of this that I am an ageist. In fact, I am arguing FOR the rights of children. I am the one who, if I could, would ban parents from any form of brainwashing or indoctrination. Think Hitler Youth, or KKK or a jihadist. Even you would admit that they should not be teaching their children to blow themselves up, kill Jews or hang black people. What I am arguing here is different only in degree.

"He claims Children are not mature enough to critically analyze topics like religion. "
That's right, I am. Almost all young children (lets say less than 12) are not mature enough to make many decisions for themselves. Most, if they had their way, would eat pizza every day. That is not wise, but they don't know that. That is why parents must teach them.

"Does he know I wonder that they are children as young as TWO years old in MENSA http://www.dailymail.co.uk...... "
Smart does not equal wise or mature.

"In conclusion:

1) I have shown education on beliefs are no where near 'Borderline' child abuse."
I don't think you have.
"2) There is even good reason to encourage attempt at passing on your beliefs in your child, any other contribution you make to the world outside of how your child is raised can rot, but your child's character and the beliefs that drive go on forever in your child and your child's child that he passes them onto in turn."
There is no doubt that parents should teach their children MANY things. They should teach them secular ethics, the law, math, language, finance, and many more things. But they should not teach them dogmatic religious beliefs. Yes, they should teach them all about ALL religions and leave it at that. There should be no coercion, no guilt trips, and no punishment for not accepting the parent's religion. Teach them accepted facts and real world skills, not their own inherited mythology.

"3) The inability for children to think critically on such a simple subject is false notion. And an ageist one."
I am not an ageist, I am the child's advocate. Religion is not simple, it is very complicated and most children cannot think critically well into their teens.

"4) Being an ageist, is my opponent really the person to take any opinions from on child abuse. It is those that respect the youth that should be considered to actually care about the youth."
I am no ageist.
Now I challenge my opponent to actually respond to my original argument:
Children are not mature enough to critically analyze the topic of religion.
They are gullible and wired by nature to take everything their parents tell them as the absolute truth.
They are easily intimidated and coerced by their elders.
They have a right to decide on their own what they chose to believe.
And explain to me and the audience why we don't choose our children's career, spouse, number of children to have, or where to live, but it is right and fair to impose our religion on them.
Marauder

Con

My opponent seems to be under the impression that he can change the resolution round two. In respect to the resolution we are determining if something ‘is borderline child abuse' and ‘should be discouraged' and that something labeled in the resolution is ‘teaching religion.' My opponent has stated last round "Yes, they should teach them all about ALL religions and leave it at that." For my opponent to take that position he must abandon the resolution and admit defeat for he just agreed that one ‘should teach' religion to there children.
I regret to inform our newest DDO member that you do not have the luxury of changing resolutions in round 2 of debates. If I were to be merciful and agree to the change in resolution I would be taking sacrifice upon the fairness this is to my ability to argue back as my opponent has two rounds on the topic of this new resolution and have but one, because anything I argued in the first round would deal with the first resolution alone that I agreed to debate.
I understand that you are new and this lesson is a hard one but you will get used to it. Now you have one of two options.
1) Surrender, telling the voting audience you forfeits all argument points to me. Then start a new debate with you new more specific resolution, defining all the words in the resolution in round one so that this cannot happen again.
2) Gird your loins up and finish this debate arguing against teaching religion, even though that is a broad phrase, requiring you abandon your position that we should "teach children all religions and leave it at that", and oppose the position for the remainder of the debate. Doing so won't be so bad, you may even discover debating against the side that you in reality are for can be fun.

Should you accept two the following will be relevant.

When refuting conclusion 1 my opponent merely said ‘I don't think you did' without ever acknowledging the legal definition of child abuse presented and sourced. I can give little more response to that other than ‘arguments extended' as they have presently been ignored. When looking at the requirements its clear that the effects of teaching about a religion(s) does not fall anywhere near that, much less ‘borderline'.
The closest requirements can come for child abuse lies within the neglect category, concerning exposure or encouragement of illegal activities. Education of religion does not ‘border' this unless one is prepared to argue that teaching religion(s) should be illegal. But my opponent has already supported the position in round one that ‘no one should tell us what religion to follow, we have a right to choose for ourselves.' So again I assert that its safe to say I have shown its not even close to being ‘borderline'
It seems the worst accusation my opponent can cite (and when I say cite I mean his implied but untold anecdotal testimony) is that children ‘feel guilty'. Well my oh my! Isn't that just horrific! Stop the presses and send someone down to my opponents house to get coverage of the ‘shocking' story of the hard times he's gone through ‘feeling guilty' witch I would estimate lasted up to a week or 2 at max before going away. It is not a concerning problem that you ended up being a ‘emo' for little while after blowing off the people who raised you beliefs system. The day we consider that signs of child abuse is the day we have lost our minds. It is difficult enough to argue physical discipline like spanking your kid as ‘borderline' child abuse , much less can we even begin to consider my opponents ‘psychological trauma' as real pain.
Our ageist friend say's he's talking about the same thing as Nazi youth, ect, ect… just in a smaller degree. That ‘lower degree' is rather a big deal in this discussion. The core reasons that make it qualify as smaller degree are the same core reasons that draw the line between what we call an intolerable way that other people raise their kids and whatever is their prerogative and ‘none of our business'. These core principles are the ones that give foundation to the holy scriptures for his U.S. religious beliefs, the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence. It is the idea that your rights end when they infringe upon another persons rights. The idea that the only instance the Gov. should step in is if it goes to far in harming others. We send the child protective services in not if we see a parent smack their kids hand when they decide to touch something they just told them not to touch, but rather wait until its conclusive that that child is outright not safe in that house. I used to think spanking was the mildest form of discipline a parent could use, or perhaps milder yet making the kid sit in a ‘time out chair', but it seems my opponent has described for us a milder yet discipline, a ‘guilt trip'. If spanking cannot be child abuse, then ‘guilt trips' can never be called child abuse.
My opponent has somehow successfully deluded himself that he isn't an ageist. This is to expected even when we know he is as most ageist try and justify their prejudice belies against children as more reasonable than just considering themselves superior to those poor pathetic inferior creatures they call children. He has admitted to all the charges I brought against him that make him an ageist, he has even revealed he's pre-judgment on all children that they would literally eat pizza everyday if they could be in charge of grocery shopping. This is simply a blatant stereotype based on age that is supported by nothing, just an ageist view.
What is funny is that though he completely disrespects a child's ability to make a choice for themselves on what to believe he claims to advocate that those children should make those decision. If he doesn't believe they can make intelligent decisions for themselves he must think that if they did it would be ruin for them, and yet he invites that ruin on the children. Now I do not believe it would be ruin because I am no ageist (against children or geriatric), but since he does We can only conclude he wants our children to make bad decisions for themselves.
He asks me to ‘not drag this off topic; we are talking about traditional American values'. But in fact, I am the only one talking about the traditional American ones, because that of the Native American are as traditional as it gets. Even the U.S. constitution does not go back as far as this lands values are concerned. The Cherokee ways are as old as you can hope to get for this country in its traditions.
I would like my opponent to explain exactly why he would think most people would disagree on the importance of passing on your values, your character strengths in your descendants. Do take note of the way he phrases his blatant statement that he's sure ‘most adults would….'. Why does he only bring up what the adults would think on the matter? Because he is an ageist and simple does not care about what the young say because he considers them more stupid by default.
My opponent dosent think I responded to his original strawman argument, so the set the record strait this round I will take it on quote by quote.
‘They are gullible and wired by nature to take everything their parents tell them as the absolute truth.'
So it is natural for an apple to fail to fall far from the tree. That doesn't make it ‘borderline abuse'. By the ‘agiest' I don't appreciate your derogative terms being used to further stereotype all children, they need someone to defend their honor and since I'm the only non-agiest hear I guess that someone must be me.
‘They are easily intimidated and coerced by their elders.'
That's an ageist myth. And even if true, its not a description of ‘abuse'
‘They have a right to decide on their own what they chose to believe.'
And you have openly agreed that they still have that right now regardless of what their parents teach them. And they do use it.
‘And explain....'
Absolutely nothing is imposed, and that is why its a strawman
Debate Round No. 2
bornagainagnostic

Pro

bornagainagnostic forfeited this round.
Marauder

Con

It appears my opponent choose option number one, preaching a position is more important than debating to him.

arguments extend.

Vote Con
Debate Round No. 3
6 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 6 records.
Posted by frenchmoose 6 years ago
frenchmoose
i drank 67 pounds of nails
Posted by Marauder 6 years ago
Marauder
http://www.debate.org...
this is one of those physical diciplen debates.
I wanted to source this into my argument but I ran out of room.
Posted by Marauder 6 years ago
Marauder
I am not sure you will not, only suspicious. I am currently in debates with two other newbs who are as argumenative as fenceposts. http://www.debate.org... http://www.debate.org...

But by all means I do hope against my suspicons, if you plan to research before you post I encurage this, that makes for a better debate.
Posted by bornagainagnostic 6 years ago
bornagainagnostic
Wow Marauder, you seem pretty sure of yourself. Yeah, I just joined a little while ago. And I am at work. And I have almost three days to reply. Use the time to research.
Posted by Marauder 6 years ago
Marauder
It can only be a good debate if bornagainagnostic post a round two argument. He just joined a few hours ago, so I am suspicious if he will at all.
Posted by RoyLatham 6 years ago
RoyLatham
Good topic. This could be a good debate.
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by Vigrant 6 years ago
Vigrant
bornagainagnosticMarauderTied
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Vote Placed by Marauder 6 years ago
Marauder
bornagainagnosticMarauderTied
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