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Raised with faith vs raised without faith - Page 3

post #41 of 73
Quote:
Originally Posted by Purple Sage View Post

If you are raised in a religion and decide to stay in that religion, it is most likely because you are satisfied with it.  If you are satisfied with it, then how much contemplation is necessary for your choice to stay to be considered a real decision?  Would that person have to go out and study other religions to really know that they are satisfied, or is it possible to know you're happy with your faith without ever giving a passing thought to any other faith?  How many religions would they need to study, and how deeply would they need to study them before they could make a choice that counts, before it's not mindless?



I think there is some truth to this.  But it also works the other way - people who are raised with no religion often drift along with that rather than really examaning what might be called their "worldview", or kind of assume that it is the default or most sensible position without looking seriously into religion at all.

 

So I do think the idea that raising kids without religion will "allow them to choose for themselves" is false.  And I hear that said all the time, including on MDC.  You teach your kids a worldview, religious or otherwise, and there is really no way around that.

 

Of course it would be silly for an atheist to teach their kids a religious worldview.  I think the people who buy into this claim think that by not discussing what might loosely be called spirituality (even in atheists though in that case maybe we would call it something else), they are freeing their kids.  I think that is really doing a disservice though, because it ends up that they do not talk to their kids about the big questions, like what is death, what does it mean to live a good life, etc.  And parents really need to give their kids the vocabulary and ability to think about those things.   So for any parent, I think thoughtfully presenting one's own worldview, and perhaps explaining alternate ones as they are encountered in life, will really give kids the ability to think about questions of religion and show them that such questions are important. 

post #42 of 73

I agree that it is impossible for most people to avoid impressing their worldview on their children (religious, agnostic or atheist). However, the reason for this is parents either  indoctrinate children into their belief system via subtle brainwashing or view it as a taboo subject and never talk about it properly. In order to teach a child faith without forcing one upon them you must speak in depth about the psychological, philosophical, historical, and sociological aspects of each set of religious dogma and practice. In order to give the child the ability to choose, you need to treat religion as a doctoral study of comparative religion. To quote the writer Harlan Ellison "You are not entitled to your opinion, you are entitled to your informed opinion."  The same is true of choices.

post #43 of 73
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bluegoat View Post





I think the people who buy into this claim think that by not discussing what might loosely be called spirituality (even in atheists though in that case maybe we would call it something else), they are freeing their kids.  I think that is really doing a disservice though, because it ends up that they do not talk to their kids about the big questions, like what is death, what does it mean to live a good life, etc.  And parents really need to give their kids the vocabulary and ability to think about those things.   So for any parent, I think thoughtfully presenting one's own worldview, and perhaps explaining alternate ones as they are encountered in life, will really give kids the ability to think about questions of religion and show them that such questions are important. 


Most of the agnostics and atheists I know did not break away from the religion of their childhood without much soul searching and in some cases great heartache. They do share their thoughts, questions, moral attitudes and big ideas with their children. I think its perfectly okay to tell your kids that no one.. not even a parent, has all the answers.

I want my kids to know my views, I want to know theirs. We may not always agree but there's a dialogue within our family that I couldn't have with my own. With my parents it was always.. "their way or else!"
post #44 of 73
Quote:
Originally Posted by zoesmom2009 View Post

I agree that it is impossible for most people to avoid impressing their worldview on their children (religious, agnostic or atheist). However, the reason for this is parents either  indoctrinate children into their belief system via subtle brainwashing or view it as a taboo subject and never talk about it properly. In order to teach a child faith without forcing one upon them you must speak in depth about the psychological, philosophical, historical, and sociological aspects of each set of religious dogma and practice. In order to give the child the ability to choose, you need to treat religion as a doctoral study of comparative religion. To quote the writer Harlan Ellison "You are not entitled to your opinion, you are entitled to your informed opinion."  The same is true of choices.


I love Harlan.

And yes on the informed choices. Aren't we at MDC always trying to make families aware of their choices?
post #45 of 73
Quote:
Originally Posted by zoesmom2009 View Post

I agree that it is impossible for most people to avoid impressing their worldview on their children (religious, agnostic or atheist). However, the reason for this is parents either  indoctrinate children into their belief system via subtle brainwashing or view it as a taboo subject and never talk about it properly. In order to teach a child faith without forcing one upon them you must speak in depth about the psychological, philosophical, historical, and sociological aspects of each set of religious dogma and practice. In order to give the child the ability to choose, you need to treat religion as a doctoral study of comparative religion. To quote the writer Harlan Ellison "You are not entitled to your opinion, you are entitled to your informed opinion."  The same is true of choices.

It seems to me like you're saying that parents who believe in an absolute truth should not teach that absolute to their children, lest they be "brainwashing" them.  Why would a parent who does not believe that religions other than their own are true then teach their children in a relativist fashion in order to give their children the "ability" to choose, as if the choice is what ultimately matters and not knowing the truth?

 

post #46 of 73
Quote:
Originally Posted by philomom View Post



Quote:
Originally Posted by Bluegoat View Post





I think the people who buy into this claim think that by not discussing what might loosely be called spirituality (even in atheists though in that case maybe we would call it something else), they are freeing their kids.  I think that is really doing a disservice though, because it ends up that they do not talk to their kids about the big questions, like what is death, what does it mean to live a good life, etc.  And parents really need to give their kids the vocabulary and ability to think about those things.   So for any parent, I think thoughtfully presenting one's own worldview, and perhaps explaining alternate ones as they are encountered in life, will really give kids the ability to think about questions of religion and show them that such questions are important. 




Most of the agnostics and atheists I know did not break away from the religion of their childhood without much soul searching and in some cases great heartache. They do share their thoughts, questions, moral attitudes and big ideas with their children. I think its perfectly okay to tell your kids that no one.. not even a parent, has all the answers.

I want my kids to know my views, I want to know theirs. We may not always agree but there's a dialogue within our family that I couldn't have with my own. With my parents it was always.. "their way or else!"

Most of the ones I know didn't break away from anything - they were raised without religion and haven't much thought about it.  The majority of our population is secular, with a lot of tolerantceof those who are religious.  People are pretty free to do what they want.  But generally people stay with what they were raised with as a choice or in a passive way, be it a kind of positive atheism or secular humanism, or a religious belief, or most just not thinking much about it at all. 

post #47 of 73
Quote:
Originally Posted by zoesmom2009 View Post

I agree that it is impossible for most people to avoid impressing their worldview on their children (religious, agnostic or atheist). However, the reason for this is parents either  indoctrinate children into their belief system via subtle brainwashing or view it as a taboo subject and never talk about it properly. In order to teach a child faith without forcing one upon them you must speak in depth about the psychological, philosophical, historical, and sociological aspects of each set of religious dogma and practice. In order to give the child the ability to choose, you need to treat religion as a doctoral study of comparative religion. To quote the writer Harlan Ellison "You are not entitled to your opinion, you are entitled to your informed opinion."  The same is true of choices.



What do you mean by subtle brainwashing?  Is it more subtle to tell your children that you think Heaven exists, for example, or that you think it doesn't?

 

I don't know anyone that answers those questions from younger kids by saying "I won't tell you what I think, but here are the ten major philosophical outlooks on the issue."

 

I don't have a problem with teaching kids about other religions - but doing it in an organized way comes after you have taught them what you believe (or don't believe).  Real comparative religion study is for kids who are a little older and can think abstractly.  (Of course younger kids meet people who think all kinds of things, which is a good introduction to all kinds of things.)  But a parent who was totally neutral and just taught about various options would still be communicating a particular attitude about religion - something like "it's interesting, but I don't think it is true or worth doing".

post #48 of 73
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bluegoat View Post



Most of the ones I know didn't break away from anything - they were raised without religion and haven't much thought about it.  The majority of our population is secular, with a lot of tolerantceof those who are religious.  People are pretty free to do what they want.  But generally people stay with what they were raised with as a choice or in a passive way, be it a kind of positive atheism or secular humanism, or a religious belief, or most just not thinking much about it at all. 


Different parts of the world I guess. I grew up the deep South... the literal Bible belt. To meet anyone non-xtian was extremely rare when and where I grew up.

I grew to be an adult and moved to the big city and made friends like the ones I described.. ones that had left religion after much thought and sometimes, heartbreak for their families of origin.
post #49 of 73

Yes, it seems different in different places.  Canada is pretty secular generally.  We probably have just over half who are basically secular, and then Christians and, weirdly enough, Buddhists, and then a small Muslim population.

post #50 of 73


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by philomom View Post



Quote:
Originally Posted by Bluegoat View Post





I think the people who buy into this claim think that by not discussing what might loosely be called spirituality (even in atheists though in that case maybe we would call it something else), they are freeing their kids.  I think that is really doing a disservice though, because it ends up that they do not talk to their kids about the big questions, like what is death, what does it mean to live a good life, etc.  And parents really need to give their kids the vocabulary and ability to think about those things.   So for any parent, I think thoughtfully presenting one's own worldview, and perhaps explaining alternate ones as they are encountered in life, will really give kids the ability to think about questions of religion and show them that such questions are important. 




Most of the agnostics and atheists I know did not break away from the religion of their childhood without much soul searching and in some cases great heartache. They do share their thoughts, questions, moral attitudes and big ideas with their children. I think its perfectly okay to tell your kids that no one.. not even a parent, has all the answers.

I want my kids to know my views, I want to know theirs. We may not always agree but there's a dialogue within our family that I couldn't have with my own. With my parents it was always.. "their way or else!"


I know in my family, whether or not my mom had done a great deal of soul searching or perhaps just fell away from the religion of her childhood, which probably wasn't very strong even as a child.  While she certainly shared her moral attitudes to an extent, not so much on her thoughts, questions, and big ideas about the sorts of things religion/spirituality addresses. At least not til I was a teenager. It wasn't so much being raised in a place where my parents questioned religion, and shared that quesitoning and their thoughts with me, and more of a place where my mom feared religion, and a religious/spiritual void.

 

post #51 of 73
Quote:
Originally Posted by Purple Sage View Post



It seems to me like you're saying that parents who believe in an absolute truth should not teach that absolute to their children, lest they be "brainwashing" them.  Why would a parent who does not believe that religions other than their own are true then teach their children in a relativist fashion in order to give their children the "ability" to choose, as if the choice is what ultimately matters and not knowing the truth?

 


The key word here is belief. If there was an absolute truth there would be no need for belief. Absolute truth implies undeniable, irrefutable fact. If that were the case there would be only one mono-religion, with only one religious text, one set of churches, and one set of dogma. There would be no question of which religion is right or wars fought over who holds the holy city. Strange then if you have the "absolute truth", that some people will die today because they don't all believe the same thing about god.

 



Quote:
Originally Posted by Bluegoat View Post





What do you mean by subtle brainwashing?  Is it more subtle to tell your children that you think Heaven exists, for example, or that you think it doesn't?

 

I don't know anyone that answers those questions from younger kids by saying "I won't tell you what I think, but here are the ten major philosophical outlooks on the issue."

 

I don't have a problem with teaching kids about other religions - but doing it in an organized way comes after you have taught them what you believe (or don't believe).  Real comparative religion study is for kids who are a little older and can think abstractly.  (Of course younger kids meet people who think all kinds of things, which is a good introduction to all kinds of things.)  But a parent who was totally neutral and just taught about various options would still be communicating a particular attitude about religion - something like "it's interesting, but I don't think it is true or worth doing".


In answer to your first question, neither. Telling your children what you believe is brainwashing them. A young child's strongest drive is to please his parents. Thus, when you are say, " I believe..." you are really telling your child, "this is what I believe and if you believe it too, I will be happy, I will like you more." That may not be what you mean, but that's what your child hears.

 

Obviously, throwing a 20 page dissertation on comparative religion to a toddler is ridiculous. When a young child asks you, "what is heaven?" You answer age appropriately, but neutrally, "it's where some people believe you go when you die." (Which then opens up the loaded question, "what is death?" But for the sake of argument, we'll skip over that for now.) Then the child may ask, "what is heaven like?" Again answer age appropriately, but neutrally ("Some people believe..."). But, if the child asks you, "Mommy, what do you believe?" Then you answer honestly, what you believe, and then you tell them why you believe it. The why is the crucial part to preventing brainwashing. By telling your child why, you open a door in his mind. You are planting the seed for them to think about your why and germinate their own why, which may or may not agree with your answer. Because, crucially, a truly honest answer to any "why" question is never, "because anyone/anything said so." This includes god, because every two bit priest of any religion will say "God talks to me and told me that this is true". Strange how god talks to everyone that believes in him, but never says the say thing twice.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by philomom View Post



Quote:
Originally Posted by zoesmom2009 View Post

I agree that it is impossible for most people to avoid impressing their worldview on their children (religious, agnostic or atheist). However, the reason for this is parents either  indoctrinate children into their belief system via subtle brainwashing or view it as a taboo subject and never talk about it properly. In order to teach a child faith without forcing one upon them you must speak in depth about the psychological, philosophical, historical, and sociological aspects of each set of religious dogma and practice. In order to give the child the ability to choose, you need to treat religion as a doctoral study of comparative religion. To quote the writer Harlan Ellison "You are not entitled to your opinion, you are entitled to your informed opinion."  The same is true of choices.




I love Harlan.

And yes on the informed choices. Aren't we at MDC always trying to make families aware of their choices?


Absolutely. We have nothing, if we don't have choices. Anything less it tyranny and oppression, I remember a war fought a little over a couple of hundred years ago whose purpose was to make a place where oppressive tyranny couldn't happen. Over the years I think America's founding fathers might be disappointed at the level of oppression that has been accepted in the names of safety and convenience.

 

 

post #52 of 73
Quote:
Originally Posted by zoesmom2009 View Post




The key word here is belief. If there was an absolute truth there would be no need for belief. Absolute truth implies undeniable, irrefutable fact. If that were the case there would be only one mono-religion, with only one religious text, one set of churches, and one set of dogma. There would be no question of which religion is right or wars fought over who holds the holy city. Strange then if you have the "absolute truth", that some people will die today because they don't all believe the same thing about god.

 



You do realize that your assertion that there is no absolute truth is self defeating, right?  What evidence do you have that it is an undeniable, irrefutable fact that if there is an absolute truth then everyone would agree on it?

post #53 of 73

I personally was raised with SOME faith, but not much.  I know my mom is Christian and my grandma (who I spent a lot of time with) always prays before meals and had me pray at bedtime when she'd put me to bed.  However, I only went to church with Grandma when I was at her house on Sundays and something didn't keep us.  My mom didn't think church was necessary, that God is just happy if you live your life well.  She however did send me to a Christian summer camp.  The only religious stuff was praying before and after meals (which I found fun because they were great songs) a morning prayer time and a bedtime prayer time.  Otherwise it was like any other summer camp except the stuff you could buy had a Jesus fish on it hehe.

 

When I was little, I wanted to believe in it but I never  felt comfortable with it.  I've always felt weird praying because I have no proof anyone is actually listening.  I've also struggled immensely as my sexuality is not straight as a board.  I find other rules kind of suffocating as I feel SO many things can be seen as sinful and wrong depending on the Christian you are talking to.  To me, I felt like this God character was more like an abusive parent (to me, I can see how others see it differently) you had to constantly beg forgiveness from for every mistake and there were SO many mistakes you could make.  The old testament with the plagues and flooding felt so angry compared to the more loving new testament and it seemed to me that such an angry and punishing God might just be in the honeymoon phase of an abusive relationship.  It was scary to me for a time.  I never felt the unconditional love others get from Christianity.  I like what Jesus stands for but it seemed to me that many Christians are nothing like Christ and after learning more of the history such as the crusades (which I know always get mentioned hehe) I just couldn't get myself to even try to buy into it.  The community and good things all sound so pleasant in theory but I just never got them in the amount I needed to overshadow the negative things.

 

At this time, I don't know what I believe and I'm okay with that.  I don't care to seek out a belief system beyond being a good person.  Sure, I'm not perfect but I don't think I need to pray about it... I just need to acknowledge it and try harder next time.  Maybe God exists, maybe He doesn't, Maybe heaven exists, maybe we just reincarnate.  I don't know and I feel that I don't need to know to make my life better.  The big questions don't bother me like they bother some people.

 

My husband however is seeking a spiritual place to land.  He has attended a few churches and researched religion a TON.  He wasn't raised with it for the most part but feels a need to have it in his life.  We currently attend a UU church because that is the closest to his current beliefs.  He isn't sure he is Christian but he is pretty sure he believes in God.  He enjoys learning about other religions though and has many books on the subject.  We both want to teach our kids about different belief sets and take them to the UU church.  We want to encourage them to find out what they believe... or don't believe in.  Maybe they'll be like me.. maybe they'll be like my husband... maybe they'll shock us and go Catholic.  Anything is okay by us because we won't keep them from any information or try to sway their opinions since it is such a personal thing.

 

I think kids can find religion without growing up with it and I think kids can find religion isn't right for them growing up with it.  I also think some kids might just go with what they were taught, religion or not.  I don't think its as cut and dry as what their parents tell them.  As they age, they'll have their own experiences that shadow their world view much like how I feel like Christianity puts me in an abusive relationship whereas friends of mine find great joy and love in it.  Same religion, different experiences.  Kids aren't so mindless as to just do what they were told with something like religion.  It is too debated and talked about, they'll be given plenty of ways to view it.  They won't be able to escape other opinions unless their parents literally keep them locked up and hidden from the world right into adulthood.  Yes, some will just do what they were taught but I don't know if I believe that is the norm.  I was taught religion and husband wasn't... I go against religion and he is seeking it.  We can't be completely unusual right?

post #54 of 73
Quote:
Originally Posted by Purple Sage View Post





You do realize that your assertion that there is no absolute truth is self defeating, right?  What evidence do you have that it is an undeniable, irrefutable fact that if there is an absolute truth then everyone would agree on it?

 

Do you deny or refute that when you drop a rock it falls down? Last I checked we've never waged a war because someone said a rock fell up.
 

 

post #55 of 73
Quote:
Originally Posted by zoesmom2009 View Post



 

Do you deny or refute that when you drop a rock it falls down? Last I checked we've never waged a war because someone said a rock fell up.
 

 

 

War is a red herring.  The existence of war only proves that people disagree and are willing to fight over their disagreements; it does not prove that there is no absolute truth.  Again, what evidence is there that people must all agree on something for it to be true?

 

Can you explain how the statement "there is no absolute truth" is not itself an absolute?  You may prefer this absolute to other absolutes, but it is just as much a belief in an absolute truth as believing that there is one God.  And the fact that many people disagree with your assertion that there is no absolute truth automatically makes it untrue according to your other assertion that if there was an absolute truth then everyone would agree on it.

 

 

BTW, I have a Zoe, too.  She's 14 now.  happytears.gif


Edited by Purple Sage - 4/3/11 at 11:57am
post #56 of 73


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by zoesmom2009 View Post




The key word here is belief. If there was an absolute truth there would be no need for belief. Absolute truth implies undeniable, irrefutable fact. If that were the case there would be only one mono-religion, with only one religious text, one set of churches, and one set of dogma. There would be no question of which religion is right or wars fought over who holds the holy city. Strange then if you have the "absolute truth", that some people will die today because they don't all believe the same thing about god.


In answer to your first question, neither. Telling your children what you believe is brainwashing them. A young child's strongest drive is to please his parents. Thus, when you are say, " I believe..." you are really telling your child, "this is what I believe and if you believe it too, I will be happy, I will like you more." That may not be what you mean, but that's what your child hears.

 

Obviously, throwing a 20 page dissertation on comparative religion to a toddler is ridiculous. When a young child asks you, "what is heaven?" You answer age appropriately, but neutrally, "it's where some people believe you go when you die." (Which then opens up the loaded question, "what is death?" But for the sake of argument, we'll skip over that for now.) Then the child may ask, "what is heaven like?" Again answer age appropriately, but neutrally ("Some people believe..."). But, if the child asks you, "Mommy, what do you believe?" Then you answer honestly, what you believe, and then you tell them why you believe it. The why is the crucial part to preventing brainwashing. By telling your child why, you open a door in his mind. You are planting the seed for them to think about your why and germinate their own why, which may or may not agree with your answer. Because, crucially, a truly honest answer to any "why" question is never, "because anyone/anything said so." This includes god, because every two bit priest of any religion will say "God talks to me and told me that this is true". Strange how god talks to everyone that believes in him, but never says the say thing twice.

 


 

Your first paragraph makes no sense.  Why does a multiplicity of views about what is true mean there is no truth?  That is like saying when you receive a wrapped birthday gift, and everyone makes a guess as to what it might be, it means that there is no actual gift in the box.  Does the gift only exist when it is revealed and everyone agrees what it is?  If weird uncle herb thinks it is a cooking utensil when it is a carpentry tool, does that mean it is neither?  Heck, does that mean when scientists disagree about the nature of gravity, which makes rocks fall, it ceases to exist?

 

That is just a totally bizarre argument.

 

In any case, if it is true, your opinion is just that, and has no more merit than mine, since there is no truth.  Very Nietzsche-esque.

 

Of course children tend to believe whatever their parents tell them about questions.  There is, I suspect, a good reason for this - it is important for them to be able to build a picture of the world.  Before we can judge the world, there has to be a concept of it that makes a certain amount of sense.  I am not sure how you think you will overcome that by telling them why you think it is true, though I tend to think it is normally a good idea - kids tend to adopt their parents view, perhaps even more if there is an explanation.   But why would you think religious people don't offer explanations?  And how is it different to appeal to the authority of religious figures or texts than it is to appeal to scientific authorities?  Do you even present them that way "Well, some people think that there are black holes..."?  What about moral questions "Some people think it is wrong to hit".

 

As far as brainwashing,  I don't think so.  Small children believe what their parents tell them (usually) and then they become teenagers, and question everything.  There are good developmental reasons to do it that way - for one thing teenagers are starting to have the tools to really understand and evaluate those explanations you were talking about, and they also have a sense of self that means they can separate themselves from ideas, and try different ones on.  Children are still trying to build that self-concept, which depends on the parental inputs.  How it can be brainwashing when they naturally come to a point when they tend to re-evaluate it all?

 

Of course, some people do try and really stifle any kind of independent thinking in children, including adult children, and seem obsessed with controlling them.  That actually is pretty hard to do though, and takes a bit of effort, not to mention a thick skin.  Telling your kids what you think is true  is not the same thing.

 

 

post #57 of 73
Quote:
Originally Posted by Purple Sage View Post



 

War is a red herring.  The existence of war only proves that people disagree and are willing to fight over their disagreements; it does not prove that there is no absolute truth.  Again, what evidence is there that people must all agree on something for it to be true?

 

Can you explain how the statement "there is no absolute truth" is not itself an absolute?  You may prefer this absolute to other absolutes, but it is just as much a belief in an absolute truth as believing that there is one God.  And the fact that many people disagree with your assertion that there is no absolute truth automatically makes it untrue according to your other assertion that if there was an absolute truth then everyone would agree on it.

 

 

BTW, I have a Zoe, too.  She's 14 now.  happytears.gif


You are correct in stating that war is a red herring, it was only used only to illustrate the extremes people will go to over a difference of opinion. It is an atrocity that should be avoided at almost all cost.

 

"There is no absolute truth" speaks of the three realities of philosophy. These three realities are acknowledged by all schools of philosophy. Though not all schools agree on which actually exist.

I shall list them in order of acceptance and agreement.

 

1. The reality of self perceptions. This reality is defined as your own experiences. It is the reality of your own self ; your thoughts, feelings, senses and emotions. These are uniquely yours and it cannot be refuted they are real and exist, as you are the only one who can experience them. Therefore you are the only one who knows what is real to you. This is also the only reality universally accepted to exist.

 

2. The reality of Math. This reality says that all that you experience is true and that numeric truth is true. This means that all can agree that one is one, two is two, and two plus two equals four, etc...  Basically this is the reality of logic from known proofs. It only accepts non-assumptive mathematical proofs to exist as an extension of your personal reality. This is accepted by some philosophies.

 

3. Finally, there is the reality of the physical or consensus. This reality postulates that not only does your personal reality and mathematical reality exist, but that there is a shared physical reality or an agreed upon reality that consist of physical objects and shared perceptions. This would mean that the chair you're sitting in really exists. This one is usually not an accepted truth by philosophers of the nature of reality.

 

We don't truly know if you experience what I experience. You maybe be reading this on a computer monitor and typing your responses on a keyboard hooked up to a computer. This computer maybe hooked up to the Internet. We seem to agree that this is true. However, if you could see out my eyes as I do. You may say that I read this on a piece of magic parchment upon which your words appears as if written by an invisible hand and that I respond by using a quill and inkwell and write on this magic parchment. You can't say this isn't happening. The word you learned as computer may read to me as parchment. We use the same word but may truly mean different things.

 

To use a more common example, how does one explain color to a blind person? Or more specifically what if we all actually have the same favorite color but perceive them differently. If I were to use your eyes I would see your green but call it blue. We have no way of knowing if the names we learned for colors are really what each other is seeing or if we just learned to call that color by that name but all see an entirely different rainbow.

 

Absolute truth is a red herring. Because it first presumes you can not be wrong. That you cannot make mistakes. That you cannot be deceived. That by some miracle you and only you know what is real, what exists. I tend to make at least one mistake a day and am constantly learning what I did not know. If there is a consensual reality,a physical reality, "an absolute truth", it requires that we all agree that something is true for it to exist. This is why the most important question is always why.namaste.gif

 

Btw, my Zoë is 20 months going on 14 years. (So she thinks)lol.gif

 

post #58 of 73
Quote:
Originally Posted by zoesmom2009 View Post




You are correct in stating that war is a red herring, it was only used only to illustrate the extremes people will go to over a difference of opinion. It is an atrocity that should be avoided at almost all cost.

 

"There is no absolute truth" speaks of the three realities of philosophy. These three realities are acknowledged by all schools of philosophy. Though not all schools agree on which actually exist.

I shall list them in order of acceptance and agreement.

 

1. The reality of self perceptions. This reality is defined as your own experiences. It is the reality of your own self ; your thoughts, feelings, senses and emotions. These are uniquely yours and it cannot be refuted they are real and exist, as you are the only one who can experience them. Therefore you are the only one who knows what is real to you. This is also the only reality universally accepted to exist.

 

2. The reality of Math. This reality says that all that you experience is true and that numeric truth is true. This means that all can agree that one is one, two is two, and two plus two equals four, etc...  Basically this is the reality of logic from known proofs. It only accepts non-assumptive mathematical proofs to exist as an extension of your personal reality. This is accepted by some philosophies.

 

3. Finally, there is the reality of the physical or consensus. This reality postulates that not only does your personal reality and mathematical reality exist, but that there is a shared physical reality or an agreed upon reality that consist of physical objects and shared perceptions. This would mean that the chair you're sitting in really exists. This one is usually not an accepted truth by philosophers of the nature of reality.

 

We don't truly know if you experience what I experience. You maybe be reading this on a computer monitor and typing your responses on a keyboard hooked up to a computer. This computer maybe hooked up to the Internet. We seem to agree that this is true. However, if you could see out my eyes as I do. You may say that I read this on a piece of magic parchment upon which your words appears as if written by an invisible hand and that I respond by using a quill and inkwell and write on this magic parchment. You can't say this isn't happening. The word you learned as computer may read to me as parchment. We use the same word but may truly mean different things.

 

To use a more common example, how does one explain color to a blind person? Or more specifically what if we all actually have the same favorite color but perceive them differently. If I were to use your eyes I would see your green but call it blue. We have no way of knowing if the names we learned for colors are really what each other is seeing or if we just learned to call that color by that name but all see an entirely different rainbow.

 

Absolute truth is a red herring. Because it first presumes you can not be wrong. That you cannot make mistakes. That you cannot be deceived. That by some miracle you and only you know what is real, what exists. I tend to make at least one mistake a day and am constantly learning what I did not know. If there is a consensual reality,a physical reality, "an absolute truth", it requires that we all agree that something is true for it to exist. This is why the most important question is always why.namaste.gif

 

Btw, my Zoë is 20 months going on 14 years. (So she thinks)lol.gif

 



I'm sorry but none of that means there is no absolute truth.

 

About the bold part:  How on earth do you arrive at the conclusion that one's belief in an absolute truth precludes any acknowledgment that one can be wrong?  That is one huge assumption.  I believe that there is a transcendent truth, one that does not depend on my belief in it, nor does it depend on the agreement of others for it to exist.  Of course I also realize that I could be wrong about what it is. 

post #59 of 73
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bluegoat View Post


 


 

Your first paragraph makes no sense.  Why does a multiplicity of views about what is true mean there is no truth?  That is like saying when you receive a wrapped birthday gift, and everyone makes a guess as to what it might be, it means that there is no actual gift in the box.  Does the gift only exist when it is revealed and everyone agrees what it is?  If weird uncle herb thinks it is a cooking utensil when it is a carpentry tool, does that mean it is neither?  Heck, does that mean when scientists disagree about the nature of gravity, which makes rocks fall, it ceases to exist?

 

That is just a totally bizarre argument.

 

  Reality is bizarre. Have you heard of Schrödinger's cat, it is both alive and dead until the box is opened. The "gift" is all things and nothing until it is opened.  Scientist don't disagree about the law of gravity, however there is some disagreement about the reason there is gravity. Science is the study of observational reality. One of it's chief tenants is that if an experiment can't be repeated it isn't true. There are two things I want to tell you. One is the meaning of the names of the different types of scientific thought, the other is the nature of particle spin.

 

The Law of something means that is has been repeatedly measured, observed and verified. It means that this is something that any who wish to can observe to be the same. The Law of gravity for instance states that masses tend to be pulled by an unseen force(unseen meaning that there is no observable mechanism) toward other masses. You can see this by dropping a rock and seeing it be pulled to the earth. What you probably don't see is that the earth is pulled toward the rock. The difference is that the rock is pulled a few feet, the earth is pulled by a distance so small we don't have a name for it.

 

The Theory of something means that it is a plausible explanation for observations. A theory states that we think this is why something happens and is not a true theory unless it also predicts things we have not yet seen happen or do not yet have a valid explanation for. The Theory of gravity is actually the theory of relativity. This states that we believe that gravity is caused by mass in-elastically warping or contracting space-time around itself. This contraction reduces the amount of space-time between two objects and causes them to appear to move closer together.

 

The hypotheses of something means it's a educated guess. Basically we've observed a phenomenon and guess that it is caused by X. The Hypotheses of gravity is currently the hypotheses of the Higgs-Boson particle. This hypothesizes that a particle exist with the ability to impart the property we call mass. This is currently completely unproven and has not been observed. We guess it's there based on previous particles observed and some as yet unproven theories.

 

Now for something to ponder. It has been observed that all subatomic particles have spin. This is the term used to describe the number of times that a particle has to be rotated along a plane to have the same properties it was first observed to have before it was rotated. Common particles like protons and electrons have spins of 1/2, this means that they must be rotated  180 degrees. However, there are particles that exist that have compound spins of 480 or 720  degrees this means that, they must be rotated along a plan more than a full rotation to return to the state they were in before they were rotated. This is  currently under consideration to become a Law of particle physics.

 

 

In any case, if it is true, your opinion is just that, and has no more merit than mine, since there is no truth.  Very Nietzsche-esque.

 

Of course children tend to believe whatever their parents tell them about questions.  There is, I suspect, a good reason for this - it is important for them to be able to build a picture of the world.  Before we can judge the world, there has to be a concept of it that makes a certain amount of sense.  I am not sure how you think you will overcome that by telling them why you think it is true, though I tend to think it is normally a good idea - kids tend to adopt their parents view, perhaps even more if there is an explanation.   But why would you think religious people don't offer explanations?  And how is it different to appeal to the authority of religious figures or texts than it is to appeal to scientific authorities?  Do you even present them that way "Well, some people think that there are black holes..."?  What about moral questions "Some people think it is wrong to hit".

 

Ah, you are speaking of mental maps. That personal guide to understanding the world around us. The question is do you wish your children to question what they are told and think for themselves or to just accept what they are told and be led by those who wish to control them (which are not always people who have their best interest at heart).

 

Religion in general doesn't offer explanations. God, the spirits, magic, etc.. did it  is not an explanation it is a cop out. If all people accepted religious explanations then we wouldn't be having this discussion because we wouldn't have ever progressed from hunter-gatherers to any semblance of civilization. Religious figures say X told me so, so you have to believe it or else. Science says we've found this to be true, you're free to try it yourself. Which give you more freedom. Which do you trust more?

 

Some people think there are black holes, why?  Because they've seen them (or at least an accretion disk with a non-radiating extremely massive object in the center which is the description of a black hole) . If you want to take the time you can see them too.

 

Some people think hitting is wrong, why? Because it hurts and causes injury, most people dislike being injured or in pain. However, some people pay to be hit and pay to hit. See professional BSDM. Is it wrong? That's a very difficult question that really just comes down to empathy, compassion, and freedom. Which would you restrict and why?  Non-consensual hitting is wrong, as it takes the right to choose from somebody and is a act of usurpation.

 

 

As far as brainwashing,  I don't think so.  Small children believe what their parents tell them (usually) and then they become teenagers, and question everything.  There are good developmental reasons to do it that way - for one thing teenagers are starting to have the tools to really understand and evaluate those explanations you were talking about, and they also have a sense of self that means they can separate themselves from ideas, and try different ones on.  Children are still trying to build that self-concept, which depends on the parental inputs.  How it can be brainwashing when they naturally come to a point when they tend to re-evaluate it all?

 

Teenagers are not capable of rational decision making. They can preform rational thought, but the part of the brain that makes rational decisions doesn't fully form until the mid-twenties (think about some of the things you did as a teenager, there are probably things you still wouldn't tell your parents about). Up until this time children may rationally think about things, but they make decisions based on emotions. Why doesn't your 16 year old completely disregard all traffic laws, it isn't because they agree that a speed limit is necessary to allow normal traffic flow and that the number of accidents caused by everyone going as fast as they can would cause chaos and prevent use of the roads. No, they don't want to get a ticket, don't want to get the car taken from them, don't want to get in an accident. The key word here is want. Children either want or don't want. Adults understand the difference between want and need, consensual decisions and independent decisions.

 

The reason teenagers question everything is two fold. One they are trying out independence. They are seeing what they can get away with, what gets people angry at them and what gets them punished. They are trying to figure out where their limits are and where they fit in society at large. Secondly, they have recently figured out that their parents are mortal. That they aren't always right, they don't know everything and you don't have to always listen to them. This makes them wonder if what they have been believing/doing the last 12-13 years (apx.) is the right thing to do. They ask, so they can know how much of that they have to believe to "fit in".

 

As for brainwashing, what would you call it when you force your child to practice the trappings of your religion, your world view. Did you ask to go sit in a pew and have the preacher tell you that you were going to burn in hell as a 5 year old? Consent is everything in religious practice. My child will only worship what she knowledgeably consents to .

 

Of course, some people do try and really stifle any kind of independent thinking in children, including adult children, and seem obsessed with controlling them.  That actually is pretty hard to do though, and takes a bit of effort, not to mention a thick skin.  Telling your kids what you think is true  is not the same thing.

 

 

    Stifling independent thinking is easy in children, stifling rebellion is hard. What most people see as independent thinking is really the child stretching the bonds of their oppression that the schools and churches put on them. Independent thought first says challenge assumptions. Children by their very nature accept what they are told. It takes a great effort to make them question it.
 

 


Edited by zoesmom2009 - 4/3/11 at 2:42pm
post #60 of 73
Quote:
Originally Posted by Purple Sage View Post





I'm sorry but none of that means there is no absolute truth.

 

About the bold part:  How on earth do you arrive at the conclusion that one's belief in an absolute truth precludes any acknowledgment that one can be wrong?  That is one huge assumption.  I believe that there is a transcendent truth, one that does not depend on my belief in it, nor does it depend on the agreement of others for it to exist.  Of course I also realize that I could be wrong about what it is. 

 

Please pardon the length of my ramblings, sometimes I obscure the point with too many words.

 

You seem to be saying that there is an absolute truth that exist outside yourself, I am saying that this is impossible, as you can truly know nothing that is outside yourself.

 

There is an absolute truth. The truth of your own perceptions. The assumption that there is a truth that is not part of your perceptions is just that, an assumption, a belief.  That you belief there is an absolute truth is something I can't refute. But, the important question isn't if you belief, but why? Do you believe because you want to or because you have evidence that prevents you from not believing?

 

 

 

P.S. out of curiosity, are you having as much fun as I am? It's been too long since I've have a good, intellectual debate.
 

 

 
 

Edited by zoesmom2009 - 4/3/11 at 3:05pm
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