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Old 02-06-2013, 22:35   #1
Animal Mother
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Creationism is child abuse

Once again, Lawrence Krauss does and excellent job of explaining reality.

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Old 02-07-2013, 00:12   #2
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A bit hyperbolic, in that I don't think telling them the world is 6k years old is the equivalent of physical or mental abuse. I don't think it's /right/, necessarily, but I don't think it's the equivalent.

I agree with the basic point that if we don't educate our children in science (and here I mean not just on what is currently accepted, but how and why that is currently accepted, emphasizing the basic scientific process of being willing to throw out what is currently accepted when you've figured out something better - I know the scientific method is generally covered, but it was always kind of skimmed and taught as rote, at least in the schools I went to) we are setting them up (and therefore, ourselves collectively).
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Old 02-07-2013, 00:47   #3
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I agree with void. I respect and admire Lawrence Krauss, and I agree creationist science should not be taught in schools, but calling it child abuse is a bit much.
Creationist science is not mainstream among theists. Many theists see science as merely discovering God's method.
As for the Bible, much is metaphors, symbolism, written in an ancient time when scientific principles were unknown.
God left it up to us to discover the nature of the universe.
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Old 02-07-2013, 01:10   #4
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I agree with void. I respect and admire Lawrence Krauss, and I agree creationist science should not be taught in schools, but calling it child abuse is a bit much.
Creationist science is not mainstream among theists. Many theists see science as merely discovering God's method.
As for the Bible, much is metaphors, symbolism, written in an ancient time when scientific principles were unknown.
God left it up to us to discover the nature of the universe.
What about not educating them on anything just to be on the safe side? Surely no information is better than incorrect information right?

If keeping your kids away from any education could be considered child abuse then filling their heads with nonsense like a 6000 year old earth and dinosaurs being ridden into battle can certainly be considered as such. That's just crap that they'll have to unlearn and overcome later in life.

Ask me about my Christian upbringing. I'd certainly call it abuse and I think most of the atheists here will tell you a similar story.
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Old 02-07-2013, 01:17   #5
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What about not educating them on anything just to be on the safe side? Surely no information is better than incorrect information right?
You would be doing them wrong, certainly. You'd be setting them up to fail in the world.

It is not, however, in my mind the equivalent of beating the crap out of a child, or raping a child, or psychologically messing with a kid's head.

If people start treating a parent telling kids things that are wrong, that the parent personally believes is true, as child abuse - that's getting too close to thought crime, in my opinion. There may be a line of mis-education where it is child abuse (knowingly telling them things that are wrong, perhaps) - but simply telling your kids something that you yourself believe is actually true, but you're wrong?

Some of the things people teach their children about history are in fact incorrect, for instance - they are merely apocryphal tales that have no historical justification, and have nothing to do with religion. The parents doing that, are they also committing child abuse?
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Old 02-07-2013, 01:29   #6
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You would be doing them wrong, certainly. You'd be setting them up to fail in the world.

It is not, however, in my mind the equivalent of beating the crap out of a child, or raping a child, or psychologically messing with a kid's head.
They psychologically messed the **** out of my head and I'll bet you can find other atheists around here that will tell a similar story. Same thing.
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Old 02-07-2013, 01:46   #7
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They psychologically messed the **** out of my head and I'll bet you can find other atheists around here that will tell a similar story. Same thing.
Well, I can say that when I figured it out, I felt somewhat like the whole world had lied to me. I can also say that when I believed, I used to have a recurring dream where a 40-foot Jesus would come and take everyone but me to heaven - and when I stopped believing, I no longer had that dream, because I really, truly no longer feared that.

And I think that certain practices of certain religions can approach, and even outright be, psychological abuse.

However, do you really think that merely telling a kid something that is factually incorrect /that you actually believe/ rises to that level all by itself?

If I happened to actually believe that Nero fiddled while Rome burned, for whatever reason, and I tell my kid that - do you think that is child abuse?
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Old 02-07-2013, 02:14   #8
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Well, I can say that when I figured it out, I felt somewhat like the whole world had lied to me. I can also say that when I believed, I used to have a recurring dream where a 40-foot Jesus would come and take everyone but me to heaven - and when I stopped believing, I no longer had that dream, because I really, truly no longer feared that.

And I think that certain practices of certain religions can approach, and even outright be, psychological abuse.

However, do you really think that merely telling a kid something that is factually incorrect /that you actually believe/ rises to that level all by itself?

If I happened to actually believe that Nero fiddled while Rome burned, for whatever reason, and I tell my kid that - do you think that is child abuse?
How scared were you of that 40' Jesus? Would it be any better or worse if they had told you there was a monster living in your closet that would eat you if you didn't behave? Then they take you to the monster church once a week (you guys were lucky, I had to sit through that crap 3 nights a week) to pray for the monster not to eat you and hear all the graphic stories of other kids who hadn't listened and were eaten and...

here's the kicker...

The ****ing grownups believe this stuff too! They have jobs and cars and no bedtime and can do whatever they like and they choose to do this silly monster church garbage! It must be real, right?

No, I'm pretty sure that scaring the hell out of kids to the point where they have issues with your lies even as grownups passed for some serious child abuse. I could come up with some stories that would get me arrested if I were to read them to little kids and none of those stories would come close to touching the horror and depravity of the bible.
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Old 02-07-2013, 02:32   #9
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Gunhaver,

I am not trying to say anything that would necessarily invalidate what you are saying about your personal experiences.

I am just trying to make the point that *merely* telling a kid something that you yourself believe is true should not automatically be considered child abuse.

Grok? I do not consider a parent telling a kid that the world is 6k years old, because the kid asks and the parent actually believes that, to be child abuse. There could be other things going on in such a family that *would* be child abuse, but the "Dad, how old is the world?" "6k years" scenario is not it, not all by itself.

Personally, I don't actually even approach it that way, as a matter of 'I say this is true'. When my kids ask me things we go research it, and talk about it - and otherwise I'm often telling them wild stories that they giggle about. To the point where if I say things that sound mildly out there but are actually true I get large calls of B.S. (they, of course, don't use the term B.S.) from my kids, at which point we ... go research it. Last November my youngest called B.S. when I told him what a turducken was - at which point we ... went and researched it. It was fun. We laughed a lot - but the general point being sent across is "get data. Check things out. Think about it".
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Old 02-07-2013, 02:52   #10
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Quote:
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They psychologically messed the **** out of my head and I'll bet you can find other atheists around here that will tell a similar story. Same thing.
You mess up your own head. And messed up is evident.




Forcing a child into any concept be it religion, atheism, socialism, or gaydom is not fair to the child and might be considered a form of psychological abuse.
Schools should just teach the basics; reading, writing, arithmetic, spelling, science, history, geography, with optional phys ed, art, music, wood/metal shop, home economics, radio/TV, driver ed, etc. that's the kind of stuff that was what my school was about.
Keep the indoctrination crap out of schools. Children can make up their own minds on which path to take.
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Old 02-07-2013, 07:31   #11
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It's important to remember that mental abuse is a scale with an infinite number of degrees. Every parent (even though they might honestly try their best) has done or said something to their child that caused more harm than good. No parent is perfect and every parent can be placed somewhere on that scale (but never exactly at either furthest extreme).

Whether the parent believes they are telling the truth or acting in the child's best interest is largely irrelevant. The schizophrenic parent might really believe demons are coming for their child, so they instruct the child to perform bizarre rituals to ward them off. Is that then mental abuse? Depends on the impact on the child, really.

The question then becomes not a matter of what is and is not child abuse, but rather the establishment of criteria where we as a soceity say, "Ok, if these types of things are happening then we are going to step in". Where do we draw that line? That is the real debate.
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Old 02-07-2013, 09:05   #12
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Whether the parent believes they are telling the truth or acting in the child's best interest is largely irrelevant. The schizophrenic parent might really believe demons are coming for their child, so they instruct the child to perform bizarre rituals to ward them off. Is that then mental abuse? Depends on the impact on the child, really.

The question then becomes not a matter of what is and is not child abuse, but rather the establishment of criteria where we as a soceity say, "Ok, if these types of things are happening then we are going to step in". Where do we draw that line? That is the real debate.
Oh, sure. I don't disagree with that. I'm just saying that, if someone tells their kid 'the world is 6k years old', and they actually believe it, treating that all by itself as child abuse is hyperbole.
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Old 02-07-2013, 11:05   #13
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I think parents forget that children are adults in training. When you fill their heads with Santa Claus, Easter Bunnies, Jesus, God, Angels, Unicorns, Devils and all sorts of other imaginary nonsense you're training what will someday become a full grown adult that the lines between reality and fiction are somehow blurry when in fact they are not. But it creates a bias whether you like it or not. Which is why you have full grown adults saying things like "Evolution is a lie straight from the pits of Hell". Really look at that sentence for a second. Evolution... something which we know happens and is factual and reality... is a lie straight from the pit of an imaginary place that no one has ever seen or proven to exist. Yet it's the reality... that is considered the lie.

I consider anything that trains a person to be that irrational as abuse. It has kept them from living within reality. It has made their life a blurry devotion to creatures and beings that simply don't exist.

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Old 02-07-2013, 11:58   #14
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I agree with void. It is detrimental to the child but not to the level of abuse. Theism, atheism and the like are outside the scope of science and do not belong in science classes. If parents want their kids taught the Earth is only 6K years old it should be up to them to do so or pay to send them to some private school that will. Another good reason the Feds should not be involved in education.
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Old 02-08-2013, 00:02   #15
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It should be clear to anyone that believes in the bible, that the earth is both 4.5 billion years old and 6000 or whatever number of years old.

When God made Adam he made him as an adult. If you built a time machine and went back to 10 seconds after his creation you would think he was 20 or whatever number of years old not 10 second old. The earth was made in the same way newly created but looking old.
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Old 02-08-2013, 05:51   #16
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Did Adam have a belly button?

Seriously though, creationism flies in the face of reality, consistently. As I raise my son to be tolerant and respectful of people's religious beliefs, regardless of how they conflict with how I taught him to understand reality, there still are conflicts among children.

I live in a pretty conservative christian area, kids here are raised pretty fundie and hard corps, some to the point that a couple are not allowed to enter our home because we are not christian, which is kind of spooky to me. The kids challenge my son quite a bit, asking why he doesn't believe in god and telling him that he is going to hell. Seeds planted by their parents to instill fear of eternal damnation and the prophesy of a magical man in the sky watching over him.

My son is 9 and intelligent enough to tell them he respects their religion and that in criticizing him, they are in fact committing a sin of their own beliefs and to please just change the subject so they don't sin any further. It confounds some of them but my son holds fast that there are unknowns, but also that the reality of evolution, when chemistry became biology and the billions of years of proofs hold fast to actual reality, not imaginary mythological tales of talking snakes and a rib-woman in some fantasy garden where life began as a full grown adult.

I was raised catholic, and put through the system, schools and all, altar boy, guilt based religious indoctrination, the whole shabang. Only when I began to question the church did I become free of its grasp. I was told not to question, which made me question further.

I am ok with whatever you want to believe, to me it's like sports teams. You can be a fan of your team, and of course every other team is wrong, but yours, yours is the chosen team, the only REAL team and others are never going to see the light unless you convince them to root for YOUR team. That defines the arrogance of organized religion, that YOUR chosen path is the only one and the others are wrong. Organized religion is a complete facade to me. Believe what you want, raise your children with values morals and ethics of a good person, to do good, be kind, share happiness, but don't feed them fairy tales packed with guilt, fire and brimstone, that's no way to raise intelligent, productive members of society.
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Old 02-08-2013, 20:15   #17
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Oh, sure. I don't disagree with that. I'm just saying that, if someone tells their kid 'the world is 6k years old', and they actually believe it, treating that all by itself as child abuse is hyperbole.
I disagree, I don't think it rises to the level of sexual or physical abuse, but it certainly does qualify as abusive behavior. "I really, really believe its true" can't be a defense here any more than it could be a defense in a "spiritual" marriage of a 12 year old to a 65 year old.

Teaching children that the world is only 6,000 years old, and all the attendant indictments of critical thinking and evaluation necessary to maintain that belief can't help but have a long lasting detrimental affect on the child.
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Old 02-08-2013, 20:27   #18
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I try and teach my kids how to think and reason.
Not what to think, anything less and you are doing them and yourself a disservice!

I tell them what I believe but I do not require them to agree.

child abuse? That's a little bit over the top. not as much as a 6000 year old earth or folks riding dinos is... but it is still silly..
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Old 02-08-2013, 21:44   #19
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I disagree, I don't think it rises to the level of sexual or physical abuse, but it certainly does qualify as abusive behavior. "I really, really believe its true" can't be a defense here any more than it could be a defense in a "spiritual" marriage of a 12 year old to a 65 year old.

Teaching children that the world is only 6,000 years old, and all the attendant indictments of critical thinking and evaluation necessary to maintain that belief can't help but have a long lasting detrimental affect on the child.
I'm not arguing it's not detrimental. I'm saying that that it doesn't rise to the level of physical or sexual abuse.

I'm also arguing that you can't really have freedom of thought without allowing people to be wrong - and if they are wrong, and tell their children what they think, and we treat that as abuse - we're basically saying 'you can't tell your kids what you think', which could have a huge chilling effect (were it actually law, say). This is not to say there's no situation in which telling children false things (even if the person doing the telling truly believes those things) would be abusive, as there certainly are - but a threshold of 'Tell your kid something untrue, even if you believe it' is a bit too low for me. It's more context dependent than that.

Like I said before - plenty of people think Nero fiddled while Rome burned. If they tell their children that Nero fiddled while Rome burned, are they committing child abuse simply because they did that? I don't think so.

I think they may certainly be teaching their children a framework that includes believing things just because someone said so - and as you noted, that will certainly be to their detriment in situations that require critical thinking, unless the child is able to learn critical thinking on their own. There has to be more than the mere fact of telling a child something that is incorrect before I would consider it abuse, though.

Edit: For instance, if they tell their kid that Nero fiddled while Rome burned, and if they don't clean their room Nero's going to come back, set their room on fire, and fiddle while their room burns with them in it - that's a different story.
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