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Is Teaching Religion To Children A Form Of Child Abuse?




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#41 MeAgain

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Posted Today, 09:40 AM

Yes, science shows neither the existence nor non-existence of a deity, No big surprise. I won't be redundant and explain once again why dealing with deities is outside the scope of science--also I would say mathematics. There's many a step from the blackboard to objective empirical reality. If your position is that that makes religion valueless or irrelevant, you've just illustrated scientism at work. Shall we celebrate the imminent arrival of the TOE?

I never said that religion is valueless or irrelevant. Obviously it is highly relevant, both negatively and positively. And it has positive value to a portion of society.


 

"Acclinis Falsis Animus Meliora Recusat"

(A mind that is charmed by false appearances refuses better things.)

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#42 MeAgain

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Posted Today, 10:00 AM

Meagain's statement comes across to me like this: science per se is ammoral but useful. I'd agree. But what do we do for our morality and meaning? I actually think secular ethics rooted in humanism might work, but we need something, and it can value science but won't be science.

Secular ethics is based on logic, empathy, intuition, etc. there are many examples of secular morals.

 

The Dalai Lama has said that compassion and affection are human values independent of religion: "We need these human values. I call these secular ethics, secular beliefs. There‚Äôs no relationship with any particular religion. Even without religion, even as nonbelievers, we have the capacity to promote these things."[4]

Some examples are The Kural, Unitarianism, Confucius, Mencius, Ethical Egoism, etc.


 

"Acclinis Falsis Animus Meliora Recusat"

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#43 MeAgain

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Posted Today, 10:10 AM

I don't think you quite understand the point. I explained earlier that science is the gold standard of human knowledge, involving rigorous empirical testing of falsifiable propositions. The ideal form is the controlled repliable experiment,. But not all science lends itself to that. Paleontology, astronomy, geology, ecology, and meteorology are among the natural sciences that do not use controlled experiment as a primary method, not to mention the social sciences like political science, economics, and sociology. The latter disciplines hope that multivariate statistical methods will suffice. Alas, in the real world of science, not even replicability is always feasible.

http://www.sheldrake...isis-in-science

http://theconversati...esolve-it-16998

https://phys.org/new...nce-crisis.html

Yes, I understand all that, what does it have to do with the religious instruction of children?

All this is somewhat beside the point-- which was that there are certain fields of inquiry that don't lend themselves readily to rigorous scientific methodology. And yes, they are less reliable as a result. Some things happen rarely or only once. If someone observes them tha tis evidence that they happened, the quality of the evidence varying with the credibility of the witness. If there are many observations and some are reliable reporters, we may have more confidence in the information. If the accounts are all second or third hand hearsay, as is unfortunately the case with most religious happenings, we use our own judgement. If we accept it we take greater risks and probably have strong "subjective" reasons for wanting to do so.  But the mere fact it isn't science doesn't necessarily render it worthless. As you point out, the study of ancient history has major limilations. Should we give it up or do the best we can with the data and methods available?

 

To say that if someone observes something, that's evidence that it happened is blatantly incorrect. That's one reason eye witnesses accounts of the same thing often vary.

 

When observations vary we then need to decide if we will accept them, which ones to accept, or if we will discard them. This is simple in the hard sciences as they demand repeatable observations that the community agrees upon. In the soft sciences a conscientious is reached to varying based on the available knowledge. For instance most historians agree the Julius Caesar was a real man, however the existence of King Arthur is in dispute.

 

All this is somewhat beside the point-- which was that there are certain fields of inquiry that don't lend themselves readily to rigorous scientific methodology. And yes, they are less reliable as a result. Some things happen rarely or only once. If someone observes them tha tis evidence that they happened, the quality of the evidence varying with the credibility of the witness. If there are many observations and some are reliable reporters, we may have more confidence in the information. If the accounts are all second or third hand hearsay, as is unfortunately the case with most religious happenings, we use our own judgement. If we accept it we take greater risks and probably have strong "subjective" reasons for wanting to do so.  But the mere fact it isn't science doesn't necessarily render it worthless. As you point out, the study of ancient history has major limilations. Should we give it up or do the best we can with the data and methods available?


 

"Acclinis Falsis Animus Meliora Recusat"

(A mind that is charmed by false appearances refuses better things.)

~ Horace

 

 


#44 MeAgain

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Posted Today, 10:15 AM

 

Exactly. 
 
But to clarify, I don't actually think there is a unified Christian ethic, and the same goes for other religious ethics. Some Christians for instance are very anti-abortion, some are pro. I'm not really aware of Christian attitudes to things like GM crops, but I suspect that there again, no consensus exists. But these are issues with which we have to deal.
 
I'm also a bit unsure about the ways in which a secular ethic can work. The danger I see is moral relativism, unless a secular ethic accepts moral absolutes, eg. 'torture is wrong and can never be justified'. A utilitarian approach, which I suspect would be the base of such a secular ethic, would not necessarily take that view. I also worry that those making the ethical choices for the rest of us will be representatives of the financial, technocratic and governmental elites, whose agenda may not reflect the common good.
 
Also it isn't pure science that I see as the problem, but the way it's discoveries get rolled out as new technologies etc. We're being told that soon robotization is going to transform the way we produce stuff. Millions of jobs will probably be lost.People may have to be given a basic income as right. Things like the protestant (or Catholic) work ethic are going to have to change. We will have to come to terms with a world where machines do most of the work, leaving us free, in the words of Oscar Wilde, 'to pursue cultivated leisure'. 
I can't see how that will play out with the more conservative kinds of Christian.
 
I don't claim to have the answers to all this, but it's interesting to discuss and see where that takes us.

 

I see no difference between worrying about the validity of secular ethics or religious ethics. Either can be good or bad.

You're worried about secular ethics being influenced by finances, technocrats, and governmental elites. What's the difference between them and religious finances, priests and preachers, and religious elites?


 

"Acclinis Falsis Animus Meliora Recusat"

(A mind that is charmed by false appearances refuses better things.)

~ Horace

 

 


#45 Okiefreak

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Posted Today, 11:55 AM

Yes, I understand all that, what does it have to do with the religious instruction of children?

To say that if someone observes something, that's evidence that it happened is blatantly incorrect. That's one reason eye witnesses accounts of the same thing often vary.

 

When observations vary we then need to decide if we will accept them, which ones to accept, or if we will discard them. This is simple in the hard sciences as they demand repeatable observations that the community agrees upon. In the soft sciences a conscientious is reached to varying based on the available knowledge. For instance most historians agree the Julius Caesar was a real man, however the existence of King Arthur is in dispute.

 

Oh, I think eyewitness is evidence for sure, admissible in a court of law as "direct evidence". Whether or not it's credible is another matter, to be judged by the trier of fact. I have friends who are generally sensible people who can usually be reiled upon for accurate information. But sometimes I don't believe them. One for example claims to have been healed from a wound after sleeping overnight in a pyramid. Another tells me he sees auras that let him know how people are feeling. I find both accounts hard to believe, and store them in my X=files for future reference. We have plenty of reported eyewitness accounts of UFOs and extraterrestrials, but none I'd consider credible. For extraordinary events, we need lots of evidence, but I'd accept circumstantial evidence. That's why I tend not to believe in accounts of miracles.  As you say, when observations vary, we need to decide which ones to accept. New Testament scholars use various rules of thumb that make sense to me in making those decisions. Obviously, they're not scientific.






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