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Teenagers just keep getting younger...


DarthAve
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What are your opinions on this issue?  

26 members have voted

  1. 1. What are your opinions on this issue?

    • There's definatly a problem. Somthing needs to be done about this
      18
    • I don't think there's a problem at all, just kids being kids
      1
    • I don't really care, cause I don't plan on having children.
      5
    • ot exactly sure, let's see what it's like in a few years...
      2


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  • 3 months later...
And why should young parents have less time than older parents? I don't see the logic here. Also, raising children "correctly" is not a matter of time in the first place.

Because young parents usually need to work more to pay off things that they recently bought. A 20~ year old couple that just moved into a new house, bought a new car and complete interior furniture set are going to have work that off. This in turn leads to less attention, less energy and less time to spend with their children, which in turn leads to the children not having proper guidance on certain things.

 

Bah, this is a wide subject.

In general young parents need time to settle down and need more money to be able to feed their kids and themselves and all that crap and will have less time for their children.

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Because young parents usually need to work more to pay off things that they recently bought. A 20~ year old couple that just moved into a new house, bought a new car and complete interior furniture set are going to have work that off.
I do not know but one single couple around 20 with kids that just has moved into a house, bought a car and has to pay off tons of things. I rather think the opposite is the fact, the older you get, the more things you have to pay off. Although most people I know tend to buy things *after* they earned the money for it and thus avoid having to pay things off.

 

This in turn leads to less attention, less energy and less time to spend with their children, which in turn leads to the children not having proper guidance on certain things.
Wrong. Young parents have, despite the fact that they have a job just as older parents have, way more energy to spend than older ones simply because they are younger. Young parents are usually more flexible, and also more flexible in finding ways to spend time with their children.

 

In general young parents need time to settle down and need more money to be able to feed their kids and themselves and all that crap and will have less time for their children.
Wrong again, young parents need exact the same money as old parents do to feed themselves and a kid. Or do you think kids and young parents cost more money than old parents? In fact the older a kid (and the parents) becomes, the more it costs, because they need more stuff than a baby does.
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Ray is correct when he says that younger parents have as much time and in fact have more energy than older parents do.

 

And I might add that young parents also often have the backup of their own mothers and fathers. Grandparents can be a big help when it comes to bringing up a child. When one is older, one's own parents are unlikely to be able to function as child-rearers. Hell, they may not even be alive.

 

But there is a significant problem with teenagers having babies. The problem has nothing to do with how much time they can spend with their child, or how much energy they have... It has to do with their lack of experience, and their lack of patience.

 

To be a parent of optimal quality, one must be

 

a: patient as a god, and

b: experienced enough at the game of life that one can actually teach one's kids something worthwhile.

 

Teenagers routinely think they know it all. And to be fair, I've met some damned intelligent teenagers in my time. But the fact is that they know nothing about life, because they simply haven't had time to become good at the game yet. Only those who are excellent at the game have a right to teach the game. And that's what a parent must be, a full-time teacher. Nothing less will do, frankly.

 

Bear in mind however, that as I said before, most adults don't know anything about life either, because they're lazy good-for-nothing fools who have no interest in learning how the world really works. They pile year upon year onto their tally, but though their body may grow ancient and decrepit, their mind never really grows along with it.

 

Therefore teenagers should wait until they've gained some experience and patience before becoming parents. And if they NEVER gain experience nor patience... they should NEVER become parents, regardless of how old they get. ;)

 

So it's not really an issue of age so much as it is an issue of worth. Only the worthy, the moral, the studious and the wise should be allowed to spawn offspring.

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I do not know but one single couple around 20 with kids that just has moved into a house, bought a car and has to pay off tons of things. I rather think the opposite is the fact, the older you get, the more things you have to pay off. Although most people I know tend to buy things *after* they earned the money for it and thus avoid having to pay things off.

Yes ofcourse, you marry your wife, get a kid and still live with your parents at home untill you can afford living somewhere else right?

 

Wrong. Young parents have, despite the fact that they have a job just as older parents have, way more energy to spend than older ones simply because they are younger. Young parents are usually more flexible, and also more flexible in finding ways to spend time with their children.

 

As I said, settling down leaves you with less money in the end because of A LOT of things that need to be bought. In the situation I presented, lets say the couple just moved into their new 300.000 dollar house. Lets say they took a mortgage on it, paperwork ahoy! Now, imagine the monthly fees for the mortgage loan. Good, lets sink deeper into the financial catastrophe.

 

You want kids... bam! Rooms need redecorating, clothes need to be bought, food, medical bills, time needs to spent to get everything in order.. all in all a very expensive and stressfull matter.

 

It's going to be hell trying to figure out a flexible solution for having enough time to be a proper parent to your child and still maintain the same rythm of work to pay off all the financial episodes that come with a child.

 

Older parents will have settled into the house, will have a more complete home with less byproducts of society to worry about.

 

Wrong again, young parents need exact the same money as old parents do to feed themselves and a kid. Or do you think kids and young parents cost more money than old parents? In fact the older a kid (and the parents) becomes, the more it costs, because they need more stuff than a baby does.

As I was saying, older couples will have settled into their surroundings, having taken care of a lot of the things newly wed couples would need to do.

 

I really don't feel like starting an argument right now, it's clear that you have something personal you want to defend, but I'd like to return to my safe lurk haven.

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I think I totally second that, AL. :)

 

I also want to add, that a certain lack of experience can be expected, especially when it comes to the fact that "first-time-parents", regardless how old they are, lack the experience of having and raising a child on their own. And usually they can rely on the experience of their parents here (like they did when they still were "kids only"). But still, a certain level of maturity is necessary to take the task of having a child, but this does not totally depend to one's age.

 

Yes ofcourse, you marry your wife, get a kid and still live with your parents at home untill you can afford living somewhere else right?
There are also flats, not only houses, especially when you live in the city, you know? :)
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finally a poll that i can answer honestly.....

 

i dont plan on having kids, so i don't really care!!!! though, it bothers me that most parents (aged 18-25 for example) don't care what their kids do...which in turn leads to having to put up with pathetic ****s in the workplace....

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Ray is correct when he says that younger parents have as much time and in fact have more energy than older parents do.

 

And I might add that young parents also often have the backup of their own mothers and fathers. Grandparents can be a big help when it comes to bringing up a child. When one is older, one's own parents are unlikely to be able to function as child-rearers. Hell, they may not even be alive.

 

But there is a significant problem with teenagers having babies. The problem has nothing to do with how much time they can spend with their child, or how much energy they have... It has to do with their lack of experience, and their lack of patience.

 

To be a parent of optimal quality, one must be

 

a: patient as a god, and

b: experienced enough at the game of life that one can actually teach one's kids something worthwhile.

 

Teenagers routinely think they know it all. And to be fair, I've met some damned intelligent teenagers in my time. But the fact is that they know nothing about life, because they simply haven't had time to become good at the game yet. Only those who are excellent at the game have a right to teach the game. And that's what a parent must be, a full-time teacher. Nothing less will do, frankly.

 

Bear in mind however, that as I said before, most adults don't know anything about life either, because they're lazy good-for-nothing fools who have no interest in learning how the world really works. They pile year upon year onto their tally, but though their body may grow ancient and decrepit, their mind never really grows along with it.

 

Therefore teenagers should wait until they've gained some experience and patience before becoming parents. And if they NEVER gain experience nor patience... they should NEVER become parents, regardless of how old they get. ;)

 

So it's not really an issue of age so much as it is an issue of worth. Only the worthy, the moral, the studious and the wise should be allowed to spawn offspring.

Humor mode way on:

Proof that God exists: SpiderAL and I actually agree on something completely, which requires something on the order of a minor miracle. :D

Now what we consider to be the criteria for worthy and wise may be different, but that's another issue altogether. I've wondered occasionally why you have to have a license to drive a car but not to have kids (besides the obvious).

 

Actually, that's not so miraculous as just plain common sense. Kids aren't mature enough to raise kids--they're not done growing physically, and parts of the brain don't fully develop til about early 20's, so their ability to handle things in a mature fashion is greatly reduced.

 

We waited quite a while before having kids, mostly because I had to finish school, and it would not be fair to the child to have a parent with such divided priorities. Once we had a home and a car and we were both settled into decent jobs, then we felt like we were prepared to share our lives with children and for the responsibilities of taking care of them.

 

What we lost from waiting as long as we did:

a. some energy--I can't do certain things because of a blown knee, like running behind my kid's bike to teach him how to ride. However, we've just had to learn how to work smart to work around the physical limitation. We don't try to do a whole bunch of energy intensive acts in one day--we spread it out, and that works better for the kids, too.

 

b. the ability for our kids to know all their grandparents--Jimbo's dad died when Jimbo was a teen, and his mom was quite a bit older than my parents, so we lost her a few years back, and my daughter really is too young to remember her. Neither child was able to benefit much from her love and wisdom.

 

c. Starting later means also that we may not be as available health-wise for any future grandchildren.

 

d. we're probably going to have less money for retirement because we're going to have child expenses into our 50's.

 

What we gained:

1. patience--absolutely essential when you have an over-tired 2 year old who decides to lay down in the middle of the floor at a store and scream at the top of her lungs. You can either lose it yourself out of impatience, or you can recognize that you need calmly to leave the store, get the child a nap, and come back later. You have to be patient enough to deal with a child's natural immaturity, and you need to be patient enough to let them do things for themselves even if you can do it 10 times faster, because they won't learn how to do something if you do it for them all the time. Those 7 years that we waited after getting married was a huge help for both of us to learn more patience.

 

2. Life experience--always a help. We did a lot prior to marriage and prior to child-rearing--spending time with friends, getting college out of the way, learning new things like wild-bird watching or history re-enactment, reading, being involved in some volunteer activities, traveling to different places, and many other things that are more difficult to do when you have children. Things we learned in those activities we're able to teach to our kids--my son has learned more about wild birds than most people will ever know (though having a 3 year old who can identify about 50 different species of birds in a book or at the backyard feeder is kind of scary), and we can talk about things like conservation, habitat protection and learning how to care for animals and such. We have a much broader practical knowledge base (from cooking to basic home maintenance and so on) than those in their teens/early 20's simply because we've done that much more stuff before having kids.

 

3. More knowledge about child growth and development. I highly recommend a college course on it, btw, or at least reading a book on it, or best yet spending some time in a day care center or church nursery or something like that to learn how children grow and process things. Even if you don't agree with everything in the class or a book, knowing what children learn and when has been incredibly helpful for raising ours. We know what to expect by a certain time, and we know what they're not able to do at a certain time. That way, we don't have unrealistic expectations or treat them like mini-adults, which they are not.

 

4. We were more mature in our marriage. A friend's grandmother said one time half-jokingly that it should be a law that people be married 5 years before having kids, that way if someone's going to get divorced/split up, they usually do it before then, and kids aren't affected. In our case we had 7 years married to get to know each other and work the good and bad out before adding children into the mix. Learning about each other is essential, and it's harder to spend that time with each other when you have very young kids.

 

5. We were a little more stable financially--many people whose marriages that break up cite fighting over money or having money-related problems as one of the chief, if not number one, cause. Fewer fights and less stressed over money parents=better for kids.

 

6. We understand perfection is impossible. We're relaxed enough to go from 'going for perfect' to 'going for doing our best'.

 

7. We had time to watch our friends as parents and learn from their mistakes and successes.

 

8. While my parents can help out now with our kids, they are not going to be able to help much in a few years due to age, so we've developed a community of friends who can step in and help in emergencies (and who we likewise would help in an emergency)--as long as you have those kinds of community connections, the effect of aging parents is mitigated somewhat. It's best if you can have grandparent involvement--there were things that I learned from my grandmother that my mother would never have been able to teach me due to the nature of our relationship and my grandma's knowledge base on medical things. However, there are good substitutes of grandparents aren't around.

 

9. By the time we felt we were ready, we were willing to put aside other fun activities to devote the necessary time to our children. We recognize that the time spent in their lives is crucial, and we also recognize they're not going to be with us forever. So, while some things are really hard right now while they're little, we're also enjoying every stage of life that they're at. It's amazing to see them develop from the time I first felt them move in the womb and saw them on an ultrasound to the people they are now. They certainly have their moments as we all do, but they're unique and very special. We're mature enough to see them not as a burden in our lives and something that infringes on our fun, but as people we can share love with. Yes, we have to work hard, yes, there are things we can't do right now because they're in our lives, but we're enjoying having them in our lives and being part of their lives. I don't know if we would have had quite the same appreciation for all that they are if we had had our children at an earlier age.

 

For us, it was worth waiting before having kids. We were in a better spot emotionally and financially, and the physical issues aren't that much of a problem.

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I should probably read through all the other posts, but I'm just going to go ahead and answer the first one.

 

I do believe It's a problem, but It's kind of starting to be part of the 'youth culture' to start wearing make-up at age 13 for example.

 

And also, 15 year olds (and younger) do smoke pot, drink and have sex. It should be accepted and I don't think there is anything that the older generation can do about it.

 

Here in Finland It's pretty typical to see these 13-year olds out drinking and making fools of themselves but It's gotten better the last few years. I'm not really bothered though, guess I'll have to see how things are if I ever have children.

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Originally posted by Jae Onasi:

Proof that God exists: SpiderAL and I actually agree on something completely, which requires something on the order of a minor miracle.

 

...

 

Actually, that's not so miraculous as just plain common sense.

My post was indeed merely plain common sense, you're correct on that. However, all my posts in the Senate have been just plain old common sense, so the question arises: Why haven't you agreed with me completely before now? :eyeraise:

 

But returning to serious debate, I'm not sure we'd agree so strongly on the issue of what exactly constitutes a worthy parent in an ideal world.

 

For instance, since religious indoctrination of children is obviously a form of mental abuse, a couple should be forced to sign some sort of contract before being granted a parental license, stating that they will not introduce their own religion (if any) to their child until the child is old enough to make informed decisions about what to believe and what not to believe. That's just one example of where our views would diverge fundamentally, I'm sure. :)

 

-

 

Originally posted by Pho3nix:

And also, 15 year olds (and younger) do smoke pot, drink and have sex. It should be accepted and I don't think there is anything that the older generation can do about it.

Are you seriously saying that the older generation should "accept" the fact that kids are engaging in underage sex and drug-use (including alcohol)? These age-requirements are put in place by society to try to prevent children from doing risky things that may adversely impact their lives later on, until they've developed the mental capacity to make informed choices. These age-requirements should be enforced.

 

As for whether the older generation can do something about underage drug-use and sexual activity... of course they can. It's called education, education, education. And good parenting, of course.

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I wonder what you think the required age for drinking, smoking and having sex should be.

 

It seems like there are very different views on that. In some countries you can drink at the age of 16, others require you to be older than 20. That's quite a difference.

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I wonder what you think the required age for drinking, smoking and having sex should be.
I'm glad you asked.

 

Put quite simply, such age-requirements should be determined on the basis of expert scientific advice. The finest psychologists and medical professionals should be assigned the task of definitively determining the age at which the average member of the population attains the physical brain-capacity and educational/social standard necessary to make informed choices for themselves. This generalised age-requirement should then be regularly re-assessed to make sure it remains up-to-date and representative.

 

Estimates of maturity will never apply to everyone, but if they apply to the majority, that's absolutely as good as they can get.

 

It seems like there are very different views on that. In some countries you can drink at the age of 16, others require you to be older than 20. That's quite a difference.
The fact that different people hold different views on the topic doesn't necessarily make their views rational nor valid. ;)

 

However, abiding by the laws of a society (provided those laws are not immoral) is the responsibility of the citizen. Laws to stop people abusing alcohol/tobacco are hardly immoral, therefore they should be enforced... pretty much whatever age-limit is prescribed as regards these things should be enforced.

 

The sex topic is slightly more complex, naturally. We can examine it if you wish.

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My post was indeed merely plain common sense, you're correct on that. However, all my posts in the Senate have been just plain old common sense, so the question arises: Why haven't you agreed with me completely before now? :eyeraise:

Because I don't agree that everything you've said about religion is common sense, and certainly I don't agree with you on that particular topic. But, for this thread I do agree.

But returning to serious debate, I'm not sure we'd agree so strongly on the issue of what exactly constitutes a worthy parent in an ideal world.

For instance, since religious indoctrination of children is obviously a form of mental abuse, a couple should be forced to sign some sort of contract before being granted a parental license, stating that they will not introduce their own religion (if any) to their child until the child is old enough to make informed decisions about what to believe and what not to believe. That's just one example of where our views would diverge fundamentally, I'm sure. :)

And do. Do you think we should wait until adulthood to teach basic morals? I doubt it. I don't think imparting moral principles and religion at an early age to be mental abuse obviously. My kids are hardly experiencing mental distress learning the Golden Rule and to love their neighbor at church. They do not appear to have any symptoms of PTSD or other signs of mental abuse from going to Sunday School, and in fact they're learning beneficial social skills and morals along with the other kids. When they're old enough to evaluate other religions and make a decision for themselves what, if any, faith they'd like to be, that will be their choice. In the meantime, we'll give them a solid moral foundation from which they can compare/contrast other faiths or lack thereof.

 

Are you seriously saying that the older generation should "accept" the fact that kids are engaging in underage sex and drug-use (including alcohol)? These age-requirements are put in place by society to try to prevent children from doing risky things that may adversely impact their lives later on, until they've developed the mental capacity to make informed choices. These age-requirements should be enforced.

 

What makes me furious is the stories of parents actually buying kegs for a party at their house for their highschooler and his/her friends to have a good time. Now _this_ is child abuse, not only of their own child but of other children.

As for whether the older generation can do something about underage drug-use and sexual activity... of course they can. It's called education, education, education. And good parenting, of course.

Take steps to make it harder for teens to get access--keep them busy with after-school activites such as sports or other social activities. When they do get access, make the penalties more than just a little 'don't do that again, Johnny' lecture. Community service helping people with alcohol/drug addictions might be an eye-opener for them.

 

The brain and particularly the pre-frontal cortex which controls impulse control matures in the late-teens/early 20's, and the major organs of the body have matured or are close to being mature at that point--that may be a big factor in determining the cut-off. Smoking should just be banned in children, period. If I never saw another person die of emphysema while hooked up to a respirator, it would be too soon.

 

Sex--that's a tougher call because we're dealing with the capacity to be sexually active long before we're mature enough to handle that along with the fact that a third person might end up involved in the whole deal. It may end up being different for males and females because of differing maturity rates between the 2 and also the fact that younger teens have a higher pregnancy complication rates than older teens. There's a host of factors that would end up being evaluated for creating that age cut-off.

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Are you seriously saying that the older generation should "accept" the fact that kids are engaging in underage sex and drug-use (including alcohol)? These age-requirements are put in place by society to try to prevent children from doing risky things that may adversely impact their lives later on, until they've developed the mental capacity to make informed choices. These age-requirements should be enforced.

 

As for whether the older generation can do something about underage drug-use and sexual activity... of course they can. It's called education, education, education. And good parenting, of course.

 

Yes. Most parents are restricting, and some are not. Generally I don't think that the situation is really that bad, I think you are taking this issue too seriously. Not sure how the situation is in your country, but It's definitely not that bad here. It's pretty controlled actually, many 13 year olds are forbidden to go to parties, they have strict rules about coming home from a party at a specific time etc. And about the issue on underage sex, I don't think that it's a huge problem. In the U.S it is perhaps, not sure how good the sex-education is there but here it's excellent. We're warned from a very early age about the dangers of STD's and unprotected sex.

Also it's a very very small percentage of teenagers who smoke pot in Finland. When my sister was in Canada as an exchange student for a year, she said that smoking pot was very common and that people smoked it like they would smoke cigarettes. And me being pro-marijuana-legalization I don't think it's a problem either, at least not where I live. Because there isn't any widespread use of marijuana, not as long as it stays illegal at least.

 

And now I have a question for everyone: Why does almost everyone associate alcohol use with problems? Nearly all of my friends drink, and so do I and none of them (including me) has had any problems associated with alcohol use since they started drinking. None have developed alcoholism, none have had unwanted children, none have dropped out of school etc.

 

To me, it seems like the ones who do develop some form of alcoholism are a pretty small fraction of those that drink. If not, please educate me.

 

@Jae I'm one of those who get alcohol bought to me by my parents. I don't think that makes my mother a bad parent. She is an 'enabler' that I admit, but this is not common. Most of my friends were surprised when I told them my mother bought me a six-pack of beer / bottle of Jack Daniel's etc. So this I don't see this as a huge problem, mainly because it is so rare.

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Originally posted by Pho3nix:

Yes. Most parents are restricting, and some are not. Generally I don't think that the situation is really that bad, I think you are taking this issue too seriously. Not sure how the situation is in your country, but It's definitely not that bad here. It's pretty controlled actually, many 13 year olds are forbidden to go to parties, they have strict rules about coming home from a party at a specific time etc. And about the issue on underage sex, I don't think that it's a huge problem. In the U.S it is perhaps, not sure how good the sex-education is there but here it's excellent. We're warned from a very early age about the dangers of STD's and unprotected sex.

Wow, well I had heard that Finland was something of a social paradise, but I had no idea it was so good.

 

Yes Pho3, here in the UK it is quite a problem, especially among the poor (who are an ever-growing group, I might add) alcohol-related violence is up, teenage pregnancy has been a pretty constant issue since the eighties... Yes, we live in quite the horrid place here.

 

We would undoubtedly benefit from better sex-education in our schools... but sadly- as in the US- there are always some nutty lobbying group or other (usually christian, muslim or far-right) getting together to complain about sex-education (which is evil, apparently), to complain about the handing out of contraceptive devices to teenagers (also evil and sinful), etcetera.

 

As for alcohol problems, alcoholism etcetera... I really can't comment on the dangers of alcoholism in Finland. Suffice it to say in the UK, it's a serious problem, with many underage drinkers causing trouble, injuring themselves and others and driving into other people while under the influence, etcetera.

 

However I will say that personal anecdotes like "my friends and I all drink and we have no problems!" aren't valid additions to a debate. They're generalisations and hearsay. The fact is that alcohol IS addictive, it DOES make people belligerent and over-confident, often leading to violent behaviour. Like all intoxicants, it should only be consumed by people old enough to make rational decisions for themselves.

 

So nope, I don't think I'm "taking the issue too seriously". I think in your country perhaps you can afford not to care about this issue... In my country I think we have to care.

 

Anyway, can I come and live in Finland? :D

 

-

 

Originally posted by Jae Onasi:

Because I don't agree that everything you've said about religion is common sense, and certainly I don't agree with you on that particular topic.

And I presume you think the same thing about my views on US/UK foreign policy. :eyeraise:

 

Well, even a cursory glance at past threads on these topics will prove that my stances on religion and politics are indeed based solely on common sense, on basic- nay, on fundamental rational reasoning. There's nothing very rarified about my reasoning on these topics, my opinions merely reflect the available evidence. The diametrically opposed opinions of those I debated with in those threads- yourself included- do not reflect the available evidence. I can't imagine why you think otherwise, but then I've never really been able to understand the mindset behind faith-based beliefs, political or theistic.

 

I mean if you genuinely believe you've found a flaw in my reasoning somewhere, please point it out. PM me or post it, whichever. I'd be very grateful indeed. I don't think you've found one, (not because I'm uber-confident in my infallibility... but because if there were a flaw, you or some other person would probably have pointed it out by now... and nobody has) but if you have found one, it'd be most helpful to me.

 

Originally posted by Jae Onasi:

Do you think we should wait until adulthood to teach basic morals? I doubt it. I don't think imparting moral principles and religion at an early age to be mental abuse obviously. My kids are hardly experiencing mental distress learning the Golden Rule and to love their neighbor at church.

Ahh, once again you equate your religious dogma of choice... with morality. But the two have nothing to do with each other. Being religious does not make one moral, morality is empathically rooted, and logically arrived at. No religion nor any god is needed to make one moral, and religions cannot offer to "teach moral behaviour".

 

For example, the character of Jesus certainly espoused some fairly laudable principles... but that's not all that young children learn from Christianity now, is it. They are taught- presuming they're being taught the whole package- that if you don't worship the judeo-christian weather-god, your soul will burn in the fires of heck for an unimaginably long eternity. They are taught that christians have a monopoly on morality. They are taught that the bible offers absolute truth.

 

All three ideas are demonstrably false, and in addition to these specific lies and many other lies, children are taught that belief without evidence is a virtue. And thus their little logic-organs are in serious danger of being crippled for life.

 

Secondly, the idea that religion offers a ready-made, flat-pack version of morality is dangerous from a moral perspective. Morality must be based on rational thought, and case-by-case analyses tailored to individual situations. It must also be independently arrived at. Or it ain't morality. Thus, religious indoctrination might in some cases have a negative effect on the morality of the subject. Religious dogma also provides many convenient excuses for immoral acts, lest we forget.

 

I call it mental abuse, because that's what it is. The quoshing of some measure of independent thought, the hobbling of some quantity of their rational capacity. I for one value what limited human brain I possess, and I would hate it if someone had tried to condition any portion of my reasoning power out of me at a vulnerable early age.

 

Originally posted by Jae Onasi:

When they're old enough to evaluate other religions and make a decision for themselves what, if any, faith they'd like to be, that will be their choice. In the meantime, we'll give them a solid moral foundation from which they can compare/contrast other faiths or lack thereof.

You can't possibly believe that their choice won't be irrevocably coloured and weighted by the religion they were indoctrinated into as children, can you? That's another reason indoctrinating young children is a form of mental abuse: It restricts their choices in later life. Most people- if they stay in a religion- stay in the religion they were brought up in. That's because little child-brains often accept things they're told as being truth. It's an evolutionary advantage for various reasons, but organised religion abuses it like HIV abuses weaknesses in our immune systems. Like a computer virus abuses weaknesses in code.

 

And once again you seem to be conflating moral teachings with religious teachings. You may well be giving your kids a good moral grounding... by teaching them to reason and by re-enforcing their sense of empathy. But that has nothing to do with training them in your religion. It's totally separate.

 

I mean, I fully expect your mind to recoil from this idea reflexively, as you- like all religious folk- seem to have a certain amount of personal investment in your particular world-view. Nevertheless I would ask you to take some time- perhaps during a quiet five minute period- to sit down and genuinely think about this point I've made. Evaluate it purely logically... as if you weren't religious. If you can look at the concept purely rationally, you will find that the assertion that religious indoctrination of children is undeniably negative, is a true assertion.

 

Originally posted by Jae Onasi:

What makes me furious is the stories of parents actually buying kegs for a party at their house for their highschooler and his/her friends to have a good time. Now _this_ is child abuse, not only of their own child but of other children.

Do people really do this? Why, that sounds almost as bad as that "Jesus camp" thing. :D
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And I presume you think the same thing about my views on US/UK foreign policy. :eyeraise:

I don't like the war either, but we need to fix what we screwed up. However, that's going off on a tangent and in a direction I prefer not to go. :)

 

children are taught that belief without evidence is a virtue. And thus their little logic-organs are in serious danger of being crippled for life.

That's quite a dramatic word-picture. :)

That's because little child-brains often accept things they're told as being truth. It's an evolutionary advantage for various reasons, but organised religion abuses it like HIV abuses weaknesses in our immune systems. Like a computer virus abuses weaknesses in code.
Dawkins would be proud. :D

They will be free to investigate other religions as they see fit when they get old enough to do so. I don't intend to raise them as religious automatons.

And once again you seem to be conflating moral teachings with religious teachings. You may well be giving your kids a good moral grounding... by teaching them to reason and by re-enforcing their sense of empathy. But that has nothing to do with training them in your religion. It's totally separate.

Christianity provides a moral paradigm in which I choose to raise my kids. I like the ideals of Christ's love and caring for mankind, and those are morals I want my kids to share.

Nevertheless I would ask you to take some time- perhaps during a quiet five minute period- to sit down and genuinely think about this point I've made. Evaluate it purely logically... as if you weren't religious.

Before you write me off as just another religious loony, try not just 5 minutes, but several months of reading on various philosophers (Kant, Hume, Sartre, etc--philosophy was one of the few courses I didn't take in college), along with some pretty intense apologetics writers (Geisler, Zacharias), cosmology, and some writings by Russell and the most recent by Dawkins. There's no way to assimilate the equivalent of several college courses of philosophy and religion in just a few months on top of the mass chaos that is my Real Life, and have fun doing other things, like writing, reading something a little lighter, playing some games, or spending time with my family. :) I'm not ignoring you, I'm waiting until a. I have more complete answers and b. I can address it a little more dispassionately. I will say I have yet to see a satisfactory answer on how the universe can be created out of nothing. I haven't yet seen any good answers that line up with current scientific theories on the origin of the universe.

 

Do people really do this? Why, that sounds almost as bad as that "Jesus camp" thing. :D

Jesus camp people may do a number of things wrong, but they don't get themselves or other kids drunk, get into their cars, and plow into other people, killing or injuring innocents.

Yes, unfortunately, there are parents who have keg parties for their high school age kid and all their friends. Not only are they setting a horrible example for their own child, but they're fostering inappropriate attitudes about youth drinking in other people's children, and contributing to underage drunk driving and quite possibly alcohol abuse problems later in the affected children's lives. Their priority clearly is 'good times' over parental and societal responsibilities.

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I don't like the war either, but we need to fix what we screwed up.
Once again Jae, you appear to be totally ignoring everything that has been pointed out to you before on this topic in the past.

 

Of course we have a moral obligation to fix what we screwed up. But illegally & immorally occupying Iraq isn't fixing it. Isn't going to fix it. So your support of said occupation is counter-productive and misguided.

 

I mean, there's plenty of argument and evidence proving this point. One merely has to look at these past threads (among many others) to confirm this:

 

Saddaam Hussein given death sentence

Iraq is the new Godwin's Law

Ok, what are y'all opinions on the FCC

Saddam executed - what now for Iraq? - Which is the most recent, and still open for discussion. If you wish to offer any more detailed criticisms of the reasoning behing the anti-war, anti-occupation position, that's the place to do so.

 

That's quite a dramatic word-picture.
And an accurate picture. We have an innate capacity to reason logically, and religious indoctrination in childhood will often stunt the growth of this capacity. Often irreversibly, judging by my debates with religious folk.

 

If you have any reasoning to suggest that it ISN'T an accurate picture, it'd be most interesting to read it.

 

Dawkins would be proud.

They will be free to investigate other religions as they see fit when they get old enough to do so. I don't intend to raise them as religious automatons.

Your intention is irrelevant Jae, when you raise children in a religion, producing religious automatons is a genuine risk. Once again you ignored completely my arguments pointing out that teaching kids that belief without evidence is a VIRTUE is fundamentally damaging to their sense of reason.

 

Oh, I'm not saying that your kids WON'T see sense and be atheists in later life, any more than I'm saying that smoking in front of your children will definitely give them chronic breathing disorders in later life. I am saying that it's a serious risk. And that's pretty incontrivertable.

 

Thanks for the compliment by the way, Dawkins is one of the great minds in the world today. So I highly doubt I'd qualify to receive his "pride". Nice of you to say so though. ;)

 

Christianity provides a moral paradigm in which I choose to raise my kids.
It doesn't provide any such thing, Jae. Morality is a set of universal and objective principles derived logically and motivated by human empathy.

 

You don't get morality from religion. Any morality that is not derived purely logically is inherently immoral, therefore religious "morality" isn't moral. Any version of morality that you don't reason out logically for yourself, is also inherently immoral.

 

Giving children a judeo-christian flat-pack, set-in-stone set of laws and telling them it's morality can only be bad for their own developing moral sense. It may have no effect, in which case they'll be moral people, or it may have a negative effect, in which case they'll confuse religious dogma for morality for the rest of their lives. Which is bad.

 

But trying to squeeze all these arguments into a couple of paragraphs is difficult, go here for more in-depth reasoning on the subject from various serious people: Thread: moral relativism

 

Before you write me off as just another religious loony, try not just 5 minutes, but several months of reading on various philosophers (Kant, Hume, Sartre, etc--philosophy was one of the few courses I didn't take in college), along with some pretty intense apologetics writers (Geisler, Zacharias), cosmology, and some writings by Russell and the most recent by Dawkins.
First of all, you rather missed my point. I'm fully aware that you read widely on the subject, as you've told me so in the past. (From past experience, I would say that you read widely in an attempt to find arguments that support the existence of your god rather than in an attempt to find the truth, but that's not relevant to my upcoming point) What I was trying to imply was that five minutes of rational thought would be more productive than a lifetime of theistic cherry-picking.

 

I'll say again: Spend five minutes thinking on this as if you weren't a theist. I mean literally discard the concept of deities from your mind. Act for five minutes as if you exist in a world without gods. (Which, coincidentally, you do.) See where it leads you.

 

It'd be tough, but it'd be worthwhile I think.

 

I'm not ignoring you, I'm waiting until a. I have more complete answers and b. I can address it a little more dispassionately. I will say I have yet to see a satisfactory answer on how the universe can be created out of nothing. I haven't yet seen any good answers that line up with current scientific theories on the origin of the universe.
Once again, you're ignoring things that have been put to you in the past:

 

The choice isn't between:

 

1. A totally accurate and proven scientific theory explaining to the last detail the beginnings of our universe, and

 

2. God or gods exist!

 

That's a fallacious false dichotomy. The fact that we aren't certain regarding the circumstances surrounding the creation of our universe... doesn't imply that god exists. That's a total non-sequitur on your part.

 

In addition, it's worth noting that nearly all cosmological theories on the creation of the universe- half-baked as they often are- have MORE evidence and MORE logical reasoning to back them up than your "god theory" does. So why do you think that the latter outweighs the former? It's bizarre.

 

But of course this has all been discussed to death before in the "Why Atheism?" thread. And you never addressed these points before, so I doubt you'll do so now. And I am saddened by this.

 

Jesus camp people may do a number of things wrong, but they don't get themselves or other kids drunk, get into their cars, and plow into other people, killing or injuring innocents.
That's true, the Jesus camp people merely warp the fragile minds of countless impressionable youths, smiting their fledgling reasoning abilities before they have a chance to develop fully.

 

Their priority clearly is 'good times' over parental and societal responsibilities.
Mmm, very much like Jesus camp, if one replaces the words "good times" with the words "dogmatic conformity".
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