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Religious indoctrination involves very profound moral, emotional, and political

Religious indoctrination involves very profound moral, emotional, and political implications which are beyond the grasp of young children. Isn't it wrong to indoctrinate a child into a religious belief before they can knowledgeably consent to the implications of that belief system?

This is a profound and difficult philosophical question. I have toyed with the idea that it is wrong to teach children anything normative in the areas of politics and religion - at least they won't know enough to spoil dinner table conversation when they grow up. Seriously, I am not sure what the answer is, but I think that I would want to take my stand on a distinction between teaching by indoctrination and teaching by example. It is difficult to see that there could be an objection to people raising their children in a context in which the faith of the parents is evident. (But what happens when the child is to copy the parent in the recitation of the Nicene Creed? - "We believe in one God, the Father Almighty, Maker of all things visible and invisible . . ."?) And when it comes to explicit religious instruction, things can get sticky. As long as the transmission of the faith is restricted to example and reason, though, I think it is acceptable. When the method of transmission is authority and indoctrination, it is not, as I see it. Something destructive enters the picture.

This is a profound and difficult philosophical question. I have toyed with the idea that it is wrong to teach children anything normative in the areas of politics and religion - at least they won't know enough to spoil dinner table conversation when they grow up. Seriously, I am not sure what the answer is, but I think that I would want to take my stand on a distinction between teaching by indoctrination and teaching by example. It is difficult to see that there could be an objection to people raising their children in a context in which the faith of the parents is evident. (But what happens when the child is to copy the parent in the recitation of the Nicene Creed? - "We believe in one God, the Father Almighty, Maker of all things visible and invisible . . ."?) And when it comes to explicit religious instruction, things can get sticky. As long as the transmission of the faith is restricted to example and reason, though, I think it is acceptable. When the method of transmission is authority and...