Mudcat Café message #1947117 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #29796   Message #1947117
Posted By: Little Hawk
24-Jan-07 - 06:38 PM
Thread Name: What does the word 'God' mean to you?,II
Subject: RE: What does the word 'God' mean to you?,II
Again, Crazy Horse, I understand your point. But you really surprised me when you said, "We wouldn't dream of allowing children to be indoctrinated with a political ideology..."

WHaaaat?????? Come again? Wouldn't we? LOL! I went to school in New York State, my friend, from grade 4 right through to high school graduation, and NEVER have I seen a more blatant example of children being indoctrinated with a political ideology! Yikes!

Oh, there are worse examples out there too. I bet the Khymer Rouge were a lot worse. So too were the Maoists and are the North Koreans. And the Saudis are worse. Probably the Iranians too. Maybe the Israelis. But so what? What I saw in my history courses, my social studies courses, every morning's obligatory reciting of "The Pledge of Allegiance" and all the rest of the incredible barrage of propaganda and social conditioning foisted on us young minds was precisely what you alluded to in your statement. We were being indoctrinated with a very aggressive political ideology. I was a Canadian immigrant, living temporarily in the USA, and I didn't buy it. Everyone else in those classes with me did buy it, except one guy I knew named Larry, and he was a real conconformist. He only bought about half of it. I bought just about none of it.

The kind of indoctrination of children you fear is endemic throughout society. They are indoctrinated to support war, they are indoctrinated to perpetuate phony political parties, and they are indoctrinated to become shopoholics (consumerism). I agree that indoctrinating them in a religion is just one more nasty thing you can do to them...depending on how it's done, and what it's basic assumptions are.

If the basic assumptions are that God is loving and that people should be loving too, I don't see a problem. If the basic assumptions are that God is vengeful and people are sinful then I do see a problem. If the basic assumptions are contradictory, then I see a problem.

Accordingly, I don't judge religion in a blanket way. I consider each religious theory on its own merits, just as I would any political or social theory.

You said, "Why can't you just be good because it's the right thing to do. Christians are told to be good otherwise they'll be punished, is that what we should teach children, it's not what I teach mine."

Exactly! I agree with you. The message I get from religion (meaning from Jesus, from Buddha, from Krishna, etc) is that you should be good because it's the right thing (and the wisest thing) to do. It leads to good results for yourself and others. I do NOT believe that Jesus' message was "be good, otherwise you'll be punished". I do not believe in a God who punishes. I know there are some people who believe that, but I don't. Jesus was not in the habit of punishing people, he was in the habit of healing and forgiving them. He even forgave those who arrested and crucified him. Where is the punishment? I'll tell you who punishes. People punish.