Is religion taught from birth a form of brainwashing?

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  1. crankalicious profile image89
    crankaliciousposted 11 years ago

    Is religion taught from birth a form of brainwashing?

    If you teach a child from birth a particular religion, is this not brainwashing? Would that child discover that religion on their own if it's something they weren't taught?

  2. tonymead60 profile image88
    tonymead60posted 11 years ago

    Yes of course it is, it is no different to political endoctrine of a child. Parents need to take a responsible attitude to such matters, but sadly so many religions are convinced that they are the only ones with the right answers.

  3. Joelipoo profile image79
    Joelipooposted 11 years ago

    It depends on how the religion is taught.  It can be taught in a way that is not forced on the child in a brain-washing form.  Also, with kids attending schools and having other interactions, they are going to be exposed to other things that keep them from being entirely brain-washed and only seeing one side.

  4. theseus profile image74
    theseusposted 11 years ago

    No, it is not. It is creating in the child awareness that there is this kind of religion. Eventually, the choice would still be up to the child because whether taught or not he would learn of it when he comes of age.

  5. John Sarkis profile image78
    John Sarkisposted 11 years ago

    This was the debate between Descartes and Locke; a debate responsible for starting Modern Western Philosophy.  Do we grow amongst societies whom instill religions and beliefs in people, hence causing them to think whether or not a creator truly exists (Blank Slate Concept).  Today, however, children are much smarter than they were in previous generations.  They can search information via the internet with ease.  So, I do not belief that people can be easily brainwashed from birth anymore - not like it was 50-100 years ago.

  6. Brett Winn profile image82
    Brett Winnposted 11 years ago

    It is indoctrination, which I suppose some would call brainwashing. There is no neutrality, however. Indoctrination is a good thing if one is indoctrinated into the truth. However even when one is falsely indoctrinated, those whom the Lord calls will still overcome its effects and come to the truth.

    "My sheep hear My voice, and I know them and they follow Me. And I give unto them eternal life, and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of My hand. My Father, who gave them to Me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of My Father's hand. I and my Father are one." John 10: 27-30.

    Verse 31 reads, "Then the Jews took up stones again to stone Him."

    I suspect there are those who would still like to do this today.

  7. ithabise profile image74
    ithabiseposted 11 years ago

    I don't think so, and I feel that 'brainwash' is wrong thinking. Is it wrong for a parent to lead their children in a moral (religious) path as best as they have discovered? There's nothing wrong with this. The child will grow into an adult and make his own decisions; and, yes, explore new religious ideas if he or she so chooses. The idea of brainwashing is radical, and I don't feel that is what honest, religious parents attempt to do. (Of course there are exceptions!) I too wonder if we like to apply the concept of radicalization to religion when any good parent would also lead their children into other paths of moral and ethical goodness, like proper diet, financial saavy, and finding a good mate. Yet many do foolishly veer off the path of financial soundness into shipwreck; girls, despite their parents warnings, still choose the badboy types. But that doesn't mean that their parents were not honestly trying to give them something worthwhile originally. 'No' to brainwashing; and wholesome religion from birth is not a bad thing.

  8. MickS profile image61
    MickSposted 11 years ago

    It can be, if the child is taught that, 'this way of belief is right, everthing else is wrong', then yes it is.  However, if the teaching goes along the lines of 'some people believe..., but others believe...' then no it isn't, it is well rounded, leading to educated choice in later years

  9. algarveview profile image76
    algarveviewposted 11 years ago

    No, I don't think so. It's the same with culture, with habits, I mean you teach a child what you know, so it's natural. The child will pick up everything that is around her, the religion, the culture, the food, etc, everything. Now, that doesn't mean she will agree to what she is taught. I was raised as a catholic, nonetheless I grew up, developed my own ideas and decided I didn't agree with my mom and the rest of the family, so...

  10. MilesArmbruster profile image60
    MilesArmbrusterposted 11 years ago

    We all have standards and beliefs that we live by. Even if our only defining principle of life is that the Patriots are the best team ever, we will pass that principle along to our children, our friends, and sometimes we even dress our dogs to reflect this peculiar devotion. My parents raised me in the church to be an atheist and to put my confidence in science. At the same time, they pushed me to try to understand the world and to come to my own conclusions. Somehow I ended up having strong theological convictions contrary to the way I was raised, but I also share countless character strengths and weaknesses that my parents have.
    But let's be realistic. Of course we pass on what we believe to our kids. I want my kids to believe that murder is wrong. I want them to know that they shouldn't steal from others. Every day of my life I live my values before my kids, and that is where they learn them. But brainwashing? Huh? I never forced my kids to sit in front of a blackboard and repeat after me, "Don't murder" say it again, "don't murder." say it again, "don't murder." People generally bring up "brainwashing" because they want to accuse someone of believing something they don't believe in. If I accuse you of being brainwashed, I have somehow won the argument that I am right and you are wrong.
    In the end, our beliefs tend to prove themselves. If the Patriots are really the best team in the universe, they will win every game (or at least the majority of them) from now until eternity. In the same way, if your religion is true, you don't need to brainwash your kids, they will see that it is true on their own. Mine did.

  11. MizBejabbers profile image88
    MizBejabbersposted 11 years ago

    I think it depends on the particular religion. I have seen several situations where the child grew up in a strict church and then had trouble functioning outside that religion. To be specific, when they started to college as young adults, they could not accept some of the teachings in basic college courses. Two in particular barely passed basic psychology because it was taught in a secular manner contrary to their Christian beliefs. One is a family member, and I still hear her whine about having to learn "all this stuff that goes against my belief system." I don't dare say anything because I don't want to antagonize her mother.

  12. krillco profile image84
    krillcoposted 11 years ago

    It could be, but there are significant studies and research to demonstrate that belief in something higher than oneself is an innate human characteristic. You then could argue, as some do, if humans invented God.

  13. Dubuquedogtrainer profile image61
    Dubuquedogtrainerposted 11 years ago

    Hmmmm... if I remember correctly from my course in logic and scientific method, this is called "begging the question." I could be wrong - it's been about 40 years since I took the course.

    Of course, any human being can be indoctrinated, but if we teach our children well, and teach them critical thinking skills they should be able to distinguish between truth and fiction when they are more mature and able to think for themselves.

    Some of the things I was indoctrinated (aka "brainwashed") in as a young nursing student I hold true to this day - being responsible, being on time, aseptic technique, professional demeanor, including dress, and some general principles of patient care, including how to interact therapeutically with people.

    There are other things I was taught as a child that I no longer believe - for example, that it's ok to go to church so long as you really don't believe all that stuff and make it a way of life.

    There is a vast difference between "religion" (which for me as a born again believer these days is clicker training - not related to what most people would think of when they think of "religion") and faith.

    Adults, parents in particular have an obligation and a duty to teach their children the best they know. If they teach what they think is the best and teach their children how to think, I believe they have done their job, even if the best they know really isn't the best.

    Children need guidance, just like dogs. Excuse the analogy, but I am a professional dog trainer these days and to me it is obvious - lots of bad dog-rearing, lots of bad child-rearing. An untrained child is analogous to an untrained dog. Both are exceedingly obnoxious and disruptive to society.

    We cannot legislate the way people train their children, outside of outright abuse. Parents have a right - and should have a right - to teach their children what they believe to be true. We can only hope that they teach them well.

  14. luckykarma profile image61
    luckykarmaposted 11 years ago

    I think it is to a degree!  Children are adaptable today and smart. Their choice is not always accepted by the parents from say Indian or Muslin faiths, I have a neighbour who is Indian and the children do as the parents say and that goes for them even when they are in their 20's now. So I think breeding is still there and some children are afraid to change for fear that the parents will have an argument with them.

    Religion wasn't designed by God/Jesus (one and the same), it was made by man, so yes it is brain washing to control the majority in society, make money and hope along the way that they learn all the stuff that is so hard to live by.

    1. heavenbound5511 profile image66
      heavenbound5511posted 11 years agoin reply to this

      "Religion wasn't designed by God/Jesus (one and the same), it was made by man"
      With this statement I am gladly following you now here on Hubpages -you spoke truth.

  15. Craig Suits profile image65
    Craig Suitsposted 11 years ago

    It's flat out mind control, taught by the parents and the church. As adolescents, the parents were taught by their parents and their church. You may not believe it but religious organizations demand you teach your children their doctrine.

    Brain washing is the act of converting a brain from one pattern of thought to another through utter deprivation and other timely but effective methods.
    Mind control is the systematic teaching of a belief through clever and constant exposure to the teachers desired results that takes on dozens of easy and proven methods.
    This is what religious organizations do to adults and children alike. In a very short time, you'll become a certified, card carrying, money machine which is their ultimate goal over and above everything else.

  16. ipen profile image60
    ipenposted 11 years ago

    Its not from birth , as a child learns her language etc from its parents it learns religion the same way it has been asked to follow.

  17. cperuzzi profile image91
    cperuzziposted 11 years ago

    Most times, yes.

    You can take psychology and philosophy then mash them together with a bit of mythology and you have religion.

    Let's take psychology first.  There are two ways we gather things that make our personal make up.  It's either through nature or through nurture.  As people aren't born knowing a religion, it's done through nurture.  People are taught their parent's religion.

    Kids are born and raised given a mythology that their parents take as religion.

    As the child grows to adulthood, the belief structure they receive is put to the test of life experience.  And either one of two things happen - the person finds his religion to be invalid and changes beliefs to one that will suit his experience and beliefs or they stay with something that doesn't work for them and they have a psychotic break down.

    Anything that is taught to an emerging psyche early enough through an indoctrination process that includes going through a ritual could be called brainwashing.

    Children, being children, will not seek religion on their own without motivation.  Kids just don't do that.

    Religion acquired through adulthood is done with direct intent and therefore done responsibly.

  18. profile image57
    kdawsonposted 11 years ago

    It usually is.  The one thing I tried to teach my kids was to think for themselves, but this isn't common in this society.

  19. archgirl1985 profile image71
    archgirl1985posted 11 years ago

    I guess that would depend on a few factors. One of which being how it was taught. Another, and this is another big one, cultural factors. Religion in itself is not a bad thing to teach your child as they are growing up, but if its forced on them and they are taught to in a sense fear other religions and ways of thinking, then yes, it can be looked at as a form of brainwashing. But I also say Cultural factors because the culture we're raised in also helps to teach us. In school you learn about other cultures and since it's all connected their religions. And it's not just in school that we are exposed to other ways of life and thinking. There's T.V., books, movies, music, peers, and here's a big one the internet. The world seems big, but it's actually quite small in many ways. And yes even though a parent teaches a religion, they should also teach their children to ask questions, and encourage them to think for themselves and make their own decisions. The hard part my father says is to accept their decisions even if they come to a different conclusion then you. And coming from the child perspective, you have to have the courage to make decision and live by that decision. Yes it's scary. But so worth it.

  20. tammybarnette profile image60
    tammybarnetteposted 11 years ago

    I don't think so, I speak English so I teach my children English. I am a Christian so I teach them Christianity.

  21. profile image58
    PoojaMehta0911posted 11 years ago

    I don't think so... The child learns her/his mothertounge and along with it also learns the customs and religion the same way followed by the parents.

  22. Nanceespages56 profile image58
    Nanceespages56posted 11 years ago

    I think it is taught at birth and how a persons life or the family dynamics is structured according to their beleifs and how they chose to live.

  23. am301986 profile image61
    am301986posted 11 years ago

    It all depends on how the information is presented to the child. Some ways will force them to think whatever the instructor wants, but other times they're giving the child options.

  24. Jim and Beyond profile image75
    Jim and Beyondposted 11 years ago

    No.  Brainwashing by definition involves removing one set of beliefs and replacing it with another.  From birth, children have no belief system, so they can't technically be "brainwashed."

    The question probably means "Is it right to impart your religious beliefs on a child?"  It is a parent's prerogative to instill whatever values they wish into their children.  Why would religion be off limits?  If it is wrong to "brainwash" a child with religion, is it not just as wrong to teach them your particular views on morality, manners, and right & wrong? 

    I do not endorse ANY specific faith, so please do not assume I am defending my own religion.  It is more about parenting in general.  To use the absurd to illustrate the point, we tell our kids not to pick their noses, don't we?  Well, who are we to tell them what to do and what not to do with their body?!  If they want to grow up picking their noses, they have every right to!  We tell them not to play with matches, we tell them not to hit their brothers and sisters, we tell them to say "Please" and "Thank You."  We tell them these things to make them into the people we wish them to be.  That's not brainwashing, that's parenting.

  25. girlgonestrong profile image59
    girlgonestrongposted 11 years ago

    Everyone would know that there is a God.  The Bible says that.  People need to be taught how to properly have a relationship with him though.  You don't just get to make that up as you go along.


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