A request for
who asked about my thoughts on religious child indoctrination.
What I said in the comic is pretty much it. Basically, it sucks, but relax, in this information age it is nearly impossible for children and young adults to not be exposed to opposing information.
Any measure to prevent religious indoctrination through law would be impractical and break too many freedoms. Edit:
I don't think I made it very clear in the short space of the comic but I'll better define how I view indoctrination here. Just because a parent is teaching their child about their religion does not mean the parent is indoctrinating their child. Teaching and indoctrinating are not interchangeable. I view indoctrination as one method of teaching that I think is wrong and limiting to children. Indoctrination is also not exclusive to religion though admittedly more commonly found there.
While religious indoctrination may cause emotional damage, it is not always the same as mental abuse which we do not tolerate as a society. Mentally abusing a child normally involves yelling at them, calling them names, or threatening to hurt them. Therefore, a child emotionally disturbed by the thought of hell is not recognized as being mentally abused. I'd agree that it is a fuzzy line and identifying children who are being mentally abused is tricky by itself but there are some signs to look for. Children who are being mentally abuse often self-harm, don't eat, are unfocused and anxious, and have considerably low self-esteem.
As for physical abuse, I was not including that in indoctrination because we do not tolerate it regardless of a parent's religion. Also, systematic physical abuse to force someone, or a child, to conform to a religion is brainwashing. Brainwashing is a darker type of indoctrination but not the same in my opinion. There are many disturbing cases of individuals being broken down and becoming compliant through torture. If a parent is almost ritually hurting a child so he/she better complies to a religion then that should be considered intolerable with no exceptions.
So my view of indoctrination is teaching a child to accept something uncritically. It is hard for me to explain an example but basically it seems to involve parents teaching their children what answers they want to hear. "Here is the conclusion. What facts can we find to support it?" The conclusion is non-negotiable which is counter-constructive to critical thinking. Everyone else is saying "Here are the facts. What conclusions can we draw from them?" If you want a good example of religious child indoctrination, I would watch Jesus Camp on youtube.
Thanks for the request!
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