Luis Javier López Arredondo

This conversation is closed.

Would you support a law to prohibit the participation of minors in religious ceremonies?

If a child cannot vote, then he neither can choose his religion yet.

Should a group of experts set the suitable age to join to one religion the same way the have done to set the minimum age for consent sex?

  • Jan 26 2012: Yes, yes, yes - but that law will never be passed. Just think - you cannot become president of the united states unless you are a practicing christian. Religion is protected by the law.

    IU have had a very similar debate myself - I have posed the following question and I would welcome participants from here joining my debate. My question is a little more militant but the essence is the same. I have certainly angered some individuals - but interested others. Search for:

    If religious belief is so strong, why isn't it strong enough to allow children to make up their own minds?

    Why can't children be trusted to look at the available evidence for themselves? Have the courage of your convictions and don't impose them on impressionable young minds. As an adult you hold sacred the human right to believe whatever you want, don't deny your children the same right when they too become adults by closing their minds now to the options.
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    Feb 8 2012: Perhaps in an ideal world parents would not indoctrinate their children in any belief system but guide them to understand the various religious and non religious views to prepare them to make their own decisions.
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      Feb 10 2012: I disagree, i feel it's my moral obligation to wholly indoctrinate my children in my crazy belief system. Listen, the world is going to teach them all the nasty hard core stuff - the least I can do is pump their heads full of inanities such as live peacefully with all humans, feed the hungry, laugh a lot, enjoy the rain as well as the sunshine, and always know it's not wll about you.

      They have all their lives to be exposed to various other belief systems, and when they rebel and walk away they'll find them all on their own.. No worries, mate!
  • Jan 28 2012: Why can't people just be reasonable rather than getting governments into our personal lives so much?

    I detest the idea of children being told how sinful and bad they are, how they will burn in hell for not being perfect like "God." How, despite their sinful nature, this same punishing god has given them a chance for salvation in the form of a bloody human sacrifice, but they have to believe it, trust it, whatever (oh, and love this very same god over anything else), in order for salvation to work. But I detest anything to do with governments controlling every aspect of what our lives should be. So no. I prefer to vote for better education. However harder this might be.
  • Jan 11 2012: YES!
    • Jan 11 2012: Why?
      • Jan 12 2012: I think individuals are supposed to decide for themselves what they believe. Realistically, religions have been used to pass on negative feelings and ideas about people of "other" religions and unearned pride and arrogance of people of the religion one happens to have been born into. In transmitting religious ideas, adults teach as fact things they do not know to be facts. In other words, many lies are used in the brainwashing of young children. I think lies make people crazy. I think there is a high correlation between sanity and truth. Religious people frequently seem to lack both. I could go on and on. This has been one of my issues for a long time. I hate wasting the brains and lives of people, stealing their right and power to believe what THEY believe. I think it is up to the individual to TELL people what they believe, not to be TOLD by others what they believe. Enough. You catch my drift. HAPPY TODAY. I hope we can spare the next generation of children from nonsensical, negative, "religious" brainwashing and allow them to think their own thoughts, believe their own beliefs and live according to their own beliefs. It's a matter of respect for the essence of humanity. It's also a matter of hope and help for our species. These religious wars are redundant, painful and boring. POWER TO THE POSITIVE!
        • Jan 12 2012: As both a religious and spiritual person, I would still have to disagree. I do not consider my thought processes or my ability to think weak in any way. My faith informs many of the issues I discuss here on TED. And as I state clearly below, the State has no business interfering in religious worship on any level. In countries that enjoy both freedom of religion and separation of church and state, that is how it must be.
      • Jan 13 2012: Michael, Who said "weak?" Are you an adult or a child? Did you notice what the issue is? "minors!"
        • Jan 13 2012: Yes Rhona I saw the issue and my point is that government should not interfere at all. Families have a right to practice worship as they please in a free society. Why should government intervene? In the US such a law would never pass either the wall of separation interpretation or the excessive entanglement interpretation.

          My response is to particularly to this phrase: " I hope we can spare the next generation of children from nonsensical, negative, "religious" brainwashing and allow them to think their own thoughts, believe their own beliefs and live according to their own beliefs." No one brainwashed me. My faith is not nonsensical.

          The government should not interfere at any level.
      • Jan 13 2012: Michael, I wonder if you happen to be a member of the same religion your parents were in. Suppose that through religion parents and religious authority figures teach children to hate people in other religions. Do you think that is okay? Do you think it is a coincidence that people of some religions hate people of other religions generation after generation after generation? How do you suppose that phenomenon occurs? Do you think that is okay? Children are people. They deserve much more respect than they receive. I wonder how you obtained your religious beliefs.
        • Jan 17 2012: Rhona
          I do happen to be by choice a member of the religious faith of my parents. However, you must understand that was my choice and it was a conscious one. No it is never good when one learns to hate, but your argument is weak here. Non-religious groups do the same thing. (Shall we make all children bubble children?) Look at what Hitler did with his brownshirt teens. The question is not about what religions could teach, but whether or not government should intervene to tell parents they cannot teach their children religious paths. That is totally against a free system of thought and action we have guaranteed in the US Constitution. It would never, and should never be even considered.

          My own religious beliefs Rhona, are well studied and well thought out. What is interesting also Rhona is that literally thousands of people, adults and teens, do change their religious beliefs. The old idea from sophomore sociology that is one is hard wired to one faith from birth is just not correct in the real world.

          I also happen to be one who believes completely in freedom of religion, even freedom not to believe, and the separation of church and state. Those two ideas actually guarantee that if you choose not to raise your children with a religious background, that is ok. Just don't tell me I can't. Those seem to be two principles you would so easily give up.
      • Jan 17 2012: Michael, Thank you for your additional comments. Do you think it is a coincidence that Mel Gibson happens to have the same religious prejudices his father has? By what means are religious prejudices passed on from generation to generation? People who express their prejudices usually state them as facts rather than as prejudices, e.g., "group X is inferior." It's perfectly okay with me if you think about this subject differently than I think about it. Happy Today.
        • Jan 17 2012: Actually Rhona, I grew up in a very racially prejudiced part of Texas, my father was very much of a racist, I am not! People are not locked in to their parent's belief systems. They never really have been. While in some cases they are tremendously influenced, in many they are not. The same is true for religious-spiritual beliefs.

          People adopt prejudices because they choose to Rhona. People make choices. People can make the choice to continue with prejudicial attitudes or not. Of course upbringing matters, but again the question here was should a group of experts set up an age of consent for religious participation. No, they should not, nor should the government or any one else.

          By the way, why are you so seemingly prejudiced against religious-spiritual groups?
      • Jan 19 2012: Michael, So you think it is a sheer coincidence that so very many children just happen to have the very same prejudices their parents had. Interesting. People should control themselves---not others.
        • Jan 19 2012: I never said it was coincidence, I said it was choice. And it still doesn't get to the point about religious upbringing in particular. (The theme of this question). People choose to adopt attitudes and prejudices and reject them also. We are not hardwired by what our parents teach. I think you are at best naive. Again, your whole conversation on prejudice stems from a dislike of religious-spiritual groups. As I stated, other groups, secular ones even, God forbid, teach the same types of prejudices that people choose to adopt or not.

          Having some council of experts decide what parents can or cannot teach seems a bit strange for someone who wants such liberty. But then again it isn't about that is it?
      • Jan 20 2012: What is it about? Liberty is for you. When you attempt to control the beliefs of a minor child, you are depriving him or her of her or his use of his liberty in believing what he chooses to believe. The delivery of religious beliefs to minor children is often accompanied by manipulation based on fear, i.e., if you don't believe what I am telling you is true, you will suffer, go to a hot place and you probably will not get my love and approval, which you may think is necessary for your survival, since I provide your housing, food and other basics. (Stuff like that.) Bottom line: we disagree with each other. That's fine with me.
        • Jan 23 2012: No only do we disagree, your argument is specious. Parents have rights and responsibilities. The government has rights and responsibilities. Government should not interfere in any way in "prohibiting the free practice of religion". Oops...the Constitution again.
      • Jan 24 2012: Parents have the rights and responsibilities to conduct them selves in honorable ways so that their children can see what proper behavior is like and emulate it. When you brainwash a child in your religion, you are depriving that child of his or her own spiritual conclusions based on her or his own experiences, thoughts, feelings, understandings. You say that you know things you do not know which makes the child skeptical of you and adults, e.g., God is an old man with a beard, God wants to be called by the name that "I' use. Respect the child. Do you wonder why there is so much hypocrisy in our society? Are you a part of it? Try truth. Tell your children what you really know instead of spouting the religious brainwashing you received from your brainwashed parents.
        • Jan 24 2012: I wasn't brainwashed. Gee you make lots of assumptions. Who brainwashed you against religious/spiritual beliefs? Seriously now. Your view of God, is rather pase. And as for knowing the truth, I think I do. And to your surprise that truth is not about an old man with a lightning bolt or some intellectual straw man you seem to want to build up.
          Rhona, I still say it seems to be your problem with religious/spiritual beliefs, not the root of this question that you have issues with.

          I do respect people Rhona. I respect their beliefs and non-beliefs, their ability to raise their children without outside influence, their ability to see beyond the end of their nose. I respect a person's right to not believe and I expect, albeit not found often today, their respect toward giving me the freedom to have my views. Religous liberty you so disdain is a street that runs both ways.

          Brainwashed you say. You have no clue.
      • Jan 25 2012: Michael, Perhaps you think of children as chattel. Women too used to be legally treated as chattel. In many countries they still are. I believe we live in an enlightened society. I like to think of children as people with their own beliefs, ambitions, experiences. Children and women deserve far more respect than they get. It is interesting that you think that your religious beliefs are your own and not imposed upon you by people who were born before you were. Suppose you had been born into a different religion. Would you have converted to the religion you are now a member of because you now believe that that religion embodies truth?
        • Jan 26 2012: "Suppose you had been born into a different religion. Would you have converted to the religion you are now a member of because you now believe that that religion embodies truth?"

          I think that says it all.

          Does anyone have any stats on the rates of conversion between religions (through choice rather than coercion or oppression)? Got to be a very low figure.
      • Jan 28 2012: Michael, When you say "I think that says it all," what do you mean? What does it say to you? What about the rates of coversion among religions? Is it right to brainwash children in particular religions? When adults or religious leaders pass on their "religious" teachings, are they passing on knowledge, things they honestly believe they know or are they passing on their own early childhood religious brainwashing? Let us continue to strive for truth here. Thank you for expressing your true thoughts and feelings here.
        • Jan 28 2012: Rhona - I think the point you make that I have quoted is exactly right - Virtually 100% of people believe in the same god as their parents. They haven't had a revelation from one of the other possible deities, a child raised a christian is highly unlikely to later change allegiance to another god. So, has anyone conducted any studies into the percentage of people that convert willingly from one religion to another? Religion self perpetuates by indcotrinating the next generation in an endless cycle that maintains the status quo. Scientific understanding is the only thing that can break the stranglehold religion has over logic and reason. I think we are on the same page? :-)
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    Jan 11 2012: I agree with your concern that religions take advantage of children's youth and undeveloped critical sense to indoctrinate them with their own doctrines. This is bound to be harmful to the person's development and therefore harmful to social welfare and even international relations in the long run. All the millions of fanatical religious followers that we see running amok, wishing to impose their own religious laws on society, would not be as fanatical if they had not been indoctrinated as children. I hope we will eventually work our way out of this serious problem.

    Nevertheless, like other commenters here, I don't think that invading this area with LAW would be a good solution. I think we must depend on education, philosophy, and gradually changing social standards. Europe has seen great changes in this area in the past fifty years: Religious indoctrination of children was earlier very common, but is today uncommon in many countries, as organized religion has faded from its once-dominant place. In the US, religion is still a significant force, but the less doctrinaire humanistic view is definitely on the rise. It will be interesting to see which course the Arab countries that have undergone revolution take in this regard. Hopefully they will follow Turkey's model of separation of religion from the state.

    In short, I think we must await the development of society to solve this issue. Of course we ought to help this development along as best we can by voicing dissatisfaction with religious indoctrination.
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    Jan 11 2012: No Law enforcing nor restricting the practice of religion barring those that materially protect the young from physical harm should interfere with a families religious customs either banning or requiring the practice of said religion by children. Physical harm shall be defined to include denying emergency medical treatment, but not to extent to extraordinary efforts for resuscitation and to also cover malnourishment physical mental or sexual abuse. The time from birth to emancipation of a minor is a time of shared responsibility, parents are primarily the care takers and unless a circumstance arises to cause the state to intervene it is entirely the parents domain, in a situation where by independent observation or by the reporting of a concerned party, in cases where a complain re child safety is found to be founded in fact, the state has and does exercise the right to remove the child from the parents. If my neighbor was about to perform a cliterectomy on his daughter I would intervene if he was about to ritually cut off his own reproductive organ I would not. If it was ritual scarification or tattoo I think I would have to base my position on if the child seemed to want it or not...

    I have taken my son to my church but I have made clear to him other people have other ideas and that I think that everyone is right. He has never been baptized and I can not see such a ritual as having meaning without "informed consent",I have taken pains to preserve for my son his freedom of choice in this matter in regard to everything except Santa Claus
  • Feb 10 2012: maybe theyre not all christians but theyre certainly influenced by their religious beliefs rather than by anything else since i dont think theres a sexual moral code apart from religion which could be guiding them... even the fat that they feel the need to lay down the law on someone elses body is a religious undertone in itself..thats what religions do they lay down as law things which they think should be the way things are or how people should behave... and that is universal in religion there are alsways codes which refer to peoples bodies what they eat who wehn and how they have sex and these codes become law.. there is no other basis for these laws other than them being an extension of moral codes.
  • Feb 10 2012: well it wasnt a group of experts who set the sex thing it was a group of catholics..i would have been quite happy to be vilfified in my choices to explore sexuality and much empowered by it had some catholic not gotten their feargrubbing words into the ears of my potential lovers..any guy who was a good guy would therefore not have sex with me so i had to sleep with peados... really stupid backwards idea there... i thin kpeople should be empowered and educated to make their own chpoices and i thin kwhat you ar etalking about is really fascist..i dont hink there should be any law except to keep th epeople who want to do violence to others under supervision and we think we have that covered yet we see our own governments sanction atrocities every day of violence and intolerance and though the world be watching we feel powerless to do that...essentially we are powerless to stop a large agent like a corporation from exploiting and abusing peoples human rights or a large body like a government from perpetrating violece.. the only way i see of diminishing this is to give less power to governimng bodies and corporations by just withdrawing compliance and standing up for your rights as you know them to be as a rational human being. theres enough research and factual information to persuade a smart man of what will work and be pragmatic like the education of young children in science and reason for example as opposed to cult indoctrination which is what your talking about here... but the problem is we are not dealing with smart men... we are dealing with power structures.. adn that is the ONLY reason that religious structure exists... there is no theology or philosophy behind it although it uses both these to exert its power the ON LY reason for it to exist is to uphold power and i think that your porposed alternative is the same thing in essence a power structure which provides moral imperatives and restricts free will and i would never agree to it. on pain of cruxifiction
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      Feb 10 2012: QUOTE: "it wasnt a group of experts who set the sex thing it was a group of catholics"

      Heloise, your personal experience is not indicative of universal practices. It is usually a secular body that determines the "age of consent" and the age varies from country to county and it even differs between individual states and provinces within countries. I think very few, if any, of them are Catholic per se; and even if they were they would not be acting in that capacity, they would be acting as citizens, often in collaboration with others who share different beliefs (Protestants, agnostics, atheists, and so on.)
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    Jan 21 2012: Why not go the whole hog & make a law that everyone must join the Atheist religion. Nah, it's been tried.

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    • Jan 11 2012: Adriaan
      There are plenty of places in Mexico for children to learn values. There are also good churches there (Evangelical and Roman Catholic). Again, why place government in the role of doing anything about religious upbringing...either for or against?
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    Jan 11 2012: Any comment about the reasons in the question?
  • Jan 11 2012: No! I realize from your history in Mexico why this may seem like a problem. (I have lived there.) However, religious freedom means people have a right to practice their faith as they choose. That means bringing children up in a particular way. As they grow older, they obviously make choices for themselves about their own faith. Real faith is not "instilled" through ritual only reinforced. Real faith comes through decision, one that adults can make regardless of their upbringing. NO! Keep the government out of the "control religious groups" business.
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      Jan 11 2012: Just a point, I am in México, but I am from Spain.

      I set up it like that to meet people nearby me.

      Fortunately I grew in complete religious freedom.
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    Jan 11 2012: teaching stupid things to children is not good. but i would rather trust parents with this problem than the law or the government. teach all religions in schools, and the problem is solved.
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    Jan 11 2012: While I am uncomfortable with parents indoctrinating their children in a particular religion, I'm not a fan of the state restrictions on freedom of religion (within limits).

    I worry about religious school education further limiting exposure to a broader view.

    Perhaps the middle ground is at least government and public schools being secular and giving a broad education.

    In the end we just have to hope that as adults, people raised in a closed religious culture have the opportunity to break out of it at some point. Some religions seem to ''lock'' people in more than others - perhaps where the religious and cultural identities are closely intertwined.

    Moderates and non religious people need to have more babies.
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    Jan 11 2012: No.
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      Jan 11 2012: I am in awe of your brevity
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        Jan 11 2012: I'll second that. After all, the question called for a yes-or-no answer.
        (So much meaning in a mere two letters.)