Should children be given the chance to choose their own faith and religion?
Many are born into their faith and often do not have a chance to explore other faith and religion. Although some have changed their religious belief when they grow up, but this is a handful of people only.
I would have left it at that, but I didn't get past the minimum character limit.
Optimally - and this is my own opinion, of course - morality and how to live a full, interesting and 'contributive' life would come without any particular religious viewpoint, e.g. skip the dogma, "our is the right religion and all others wrong." Parents would lead by example (as they do now, often to deleterious effect, unfortunately) by being tolerant, intelligent and loving human beings. - but I did say optimally.
The children would then eventually seek and find their own interpretations of what religious (it would probably be plural) beliefs they should take on board.
I think that they should be allowed to, but in the end 99% of them would probably go with what they were raised up with. It's easy to believe what you've been taught your entire life.
Raise them up the way they should go and when they get older they will not depart from it.
If you believe in the bible the answer would be no, the parent is to do as stated above.
If you believe in the more secular answers and directions out there then you will make your choice accordingly.
Yes, for sure.
I grew up with an atheist dad and an agnostic mom and basically everyone else in my family was Christian. My parents let me go to a Christian camp when I was young even though they weren't Christian themselves and they supported me when I identified as a Christian. They also supported me when I left it behind. They supported me when I went to Asia and explored Buddhism. Basically, they have always supported me in these things and always will (though my dad has passed away). I am very thankful for the openness and the ability to choose for myself. It's been an enlightening journey and I hope my daughter experiences the same.
As a small child, parents will instill their own faith and values into their children, and if done well, should feel secure in their older child exploring other faiths etc.
Most belief systems, and those who have lack of belief in a God or Gods, instill a sense of right and wrong in their followers, so the main message is carried between most schools of thought.
I was raised to respect all faiths, in that I didn't need to believe to understand that others did, and that they felt better for it. I love to learn about different faiths, and in learning will question a lot - which some people find difficulT. We were also raised to explore, and if we found a faith that worked for us, as long as we understood that it's not for everyone - then my parents were happy we were happy - I have siblings who found faith and siblings who rejected it - we all get on well!
My daughter will be raised the same way - she's not quite two, but we've already discussed what we will do in relation to Bible In Schools that is offered in NZ Public schools - if she's interested, she is more than welcome to attend, if she's not, she'll be opted out.
(Also, we will explain very early on that no everyone agrees religiously with two women being together - she has two mums - so Bible class could be interesting for her without warning)
Parents have the right to raise their children with the culture, traditions, values and beliefs of the family.
To say parents can't teach their children their faith becomes problematic, because atheists will teach their belief system - albeit non-religious - to their children.
And parents of all stripes will teach their children their views on sex, money, and political systems. You can't say "you can't teach your kids about religion, let them choose" unless you're telling parents they can't teach any of their own values and beliefs to kids.
And all adults have the right to change faiths (assuming you're not in a Muslim nation, where being atheist or converting to Christianity is a death sentence) and political ideologies if they want to.
yes, I agree that children should be given the chance to choose their own faith at age 10 because they can understand better the difference of religion.
Too bad, most parents decided on their kids religion right after birth
Children should definitely be given that right. To teach them what to believe would be indoctrination, and I think that is wrong. My parents were sure to give me this decision. They never made me do any religion, and they let me grow on my own. As I child, I was really into Christianity because we lived in a really christian area and all the other kids at school were doing it. My parents never questioned it.
Then as I got into my teens, I really began to enjoy science and took every opportunity and used every resource available to learn about it. As I delved into the scientific method, and also read more about religion, I realized that most organized religion is flawed, illogical, and often dangerous. I became a pantheist, and that quickly slipped into agnosticism. The transition to Atheism was painless.
Later, I learned that my father was a fellow atheist all along. I had no idea! He was wise enough to allow me to find my own way in life. He liked that I found atheism without any pressure from him at all.
Absolutely....No child should be brainwashed into believing any religion especially when 100% of all religions are unsubstantiated, unproven, ancient, fairy tales, Let the kid grow up and become a religious nut case of his/her own choosing. Chances are, as parents, you would most likely make very bad religious teachers anyway.....
Ones relationship with God is personal and must be cultivated by each individual. Following Biblical teachings as in Proverbs 22:6 a parent is to set his child on the right path, and in time the child will follow the original intent of God.
How can you give any chance to a child to choose his own religion. Its something so silly. A child's understanding of such a topic is just not there. How can a child choose, when he is ignorant He needs guidance . Thus I think the entire basis of this discussion looks suspect
I chose a religion different from my parents' when I was only 8 or 9. As I grew up my beliefs changed again. I don't know that a child can pick a religion & understand it well enough to never question it, but I don't know that adults can either t
The question was to learn more about how parents see their role as a spiritual guide for their children. As you may have read in the comments some parents will allow them to choose while others will guide their children.
Yes, Madal. You're right. When it's a child (and that can go all the way to 12, 13 ...then it is all silly. Like trying to opt out of responsibility, which includes teaching loving values of course, like all scriptures.
Believe it or not you can teach good values without pushing religion on your children.
I was raised in a rather agnostic household. My mother was technically Methodist and we would sometimes attend church services on holidays, but we were never forced to attend, especially if we didn't believe in it.
I opted out pretty early in life, because Christianity just didn't seem right for me and so I did a lot of exploring and studying other belief systems before kind of settling into a personal practice that is best suited to me.
During this journey, my mom was very supportive and allowed me time to explore and discuss different options.
Like what my grandma always say, you can follow any religion you want, as long as it teaches good. But you can't force your children to follow a religion
Yes, they are individuals with their own rights to choose which path to follow. I don't think it's wrong to introduce the religion you believe in to your child. But once they reach maturity, they should be able to decide for themselves. Anyway, forcing someone to do they don't believe in is not exactly going to work in the long run.
Yes. Growing up in the X religion, my parents scared the crap out of me and my sisters, telling us that we would be severely punished if we ever questioned the X God or the writings in the Holy Book. That's probably why I am now an atheist.
Absolutely. Imposing or forcing religion on a person is a violation of that person's right to freedom of religion. A person must by default be free of religion in order to then freely choose a religion. That the person is a child in this case makes no difference. All children should be educated about religion and history, and it's fine to place particular emphasis on a child's own culture, but forcing the child to practice a particular religion, and calling them an adherent, is a violation.
Adults must be held responsible for their beliefs, because beliefs are what we base our actions and choices upon. In order for this to be just, everyone must be as free as possible to decide their own beliefs.
I believe so. Forcing kids with threats of hell is the quickest way I know of to turn them into adult atheists. I'm glad to have grown up in a household with an atheist father and a Christian mother. (Funny, seems like I did a hub on that.) They grounded me in that I was taught the bible, but I was taught to question the bible and history that didn't agree with the bible. I raised my own children in the church in which I was baptized, but let them choose their paths when they got in their teens because they were already starting to rebel against man's religion. I later left the church because I couldn't reconcile its own contradictions, much less the scientific view my dad taught me. I later found a deep spiritual love outside man's religion, and my boys are doing a similar thing. It is working out for us.
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