28 September 2009
Should children be protected from religion BS?
This video proposes 4 reasons of why kids should be exposed to religion literacy. I don't agree. Comments follow each of the reasons.
1. So they can better understand the world
I totally agree that we should educate our kids to understand the world, but that understanding should be based on reason, logic and observation. History should be learnt and should be learnt correctly, without the religious colouring of the facts. To let our kids understand the world, and the world-view of some religious people is OK as long as we treat the subject matter as facts, observation and social phenomena. We don't need all the imagining gods, sins that are inherited and all those incoherent nonsense.
I am not sure what it means by "religious literacy". A logical thinking curious mind is what we want our kids to have.
2. To enpower them
In order to enpower our kids to reject nonsensical religion stories, we need to infuse scientific principles to our kids early. Let them know the correct history, the unnecessary human suffering due to or in the name of religion. Help our kid to build a robust logical thinking mind and be able to challenge the preaching they will inevitable meet someday. Talk to our kids about the beauty of the cosmology, the wonders of science. Read them good peoms and help them enjoy good music. Enpowerment is about knowledge. Read the bible with your kids and help them to question the absurdity and inconsistency of the bible. BUT definitely, not send them to any sunday church service!
The Howard Dean example in the video demonstrates the stupidity of the USA population, not that of Dean. Yes, running for political position, one needs to be aware of the perception of the public. With increasing atheism in USA, running an office from a position of atheism should be a breeze of fresh air and may actually help a candidate to cross over the line, hopefully in the near future.
That knowledge in the bible is necessary part of an adult discourse is an indication of the social illness created by religion. Among all the literature, there are much better reading. At this point in time, it may be necessary to read the bible with your kids, especially in USA and Australia. However it should be done at an appropriate age, with guidance and with proper logical thinking applied.
3. To help them make their own informed choice
My question will be how many different religion ideas that we have to provide to our kids in order to make their informed choice. The correct informed choice, the default position, is atheism. Until proven otherwise, god does not exist. This basic logical thinking premise is more important in order for our kids to make healthy choice through their lives.
4. To prevent the "teen epiphany"
Again, do we introduce drugs to our kids to help them deal with "teen's drug epiphany". Again, the correct position is knowledge. The proper training in logical thinking, reasoning, the need to look at evidence and ability to argue your own position.
In my responses here, I have taken the position that the introduction of religious ideas as attending churches. If I have mis-interpreted the message, my apology. However, my position is that the bible is a fiction, a bad story in fact. The proper way of educating our kids is to educate - give them sound approaches to solve problems, give them tools to think, to argue and to make decision. If you are not sure, don't read the bible with your kids and don't expose that bad story to them early. Half-baked counter arguments against god will have an opposite effect when teens are trying to learn to be independent. If you want to inoculate against religion, give them the power of logic, evidence-based thinking skill and lots of literature exposure to enrich their emotion, and the language to express their feelings - using the great words from the great literature instead.