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Religion, God, and Theology Discussion of God, religion, faith, theology, and spirituality.

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Old 07-22-2016, 03:17 PM   #1
Original Position
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Pick a religion

A friend comes to you and says, "I've just had my first child, I've never been very religious or interested in religion, but I think religion can be a useful way to install good values in children. What religion or religious denomination should I join and why?"

What do you say?
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Old 07-22-2016, 04:42 PM   #2
David Sklansky
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Re: Pick a religion

It should

1. Have as few anti scientific beliefs as possible

2. Not believe non believers will be punished

3. Acknowledge that non believers have logic on their side. (in other words acknowledge that logic would deduce that the totality of all possible non beliefs is more likely to be true)

Six months later I see I need to explain that I meant all possible non beliefs in the religion picked which includes all other religions as well as atheism.
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Old 07-22-2016, 05:50 PM   #3
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Re: Pick a religion

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Originally Posted by David Sklansky View Post
It should

1. Have as few anti scientific beliefs as possible

2. Not believe non believers will be punished

3. Acknowledge that non believers have logic on their side. (in other words acknowledge that logic would deduce that the totality of all possible non beliefs is more likely to be true)
Which religion is this then? And why 2?
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Old 07-22-2016, 05:59 PM   #4
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Re: Pick a religion

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Originally Posted by David Sklansky View Post
It should

1. Have as few anti scientific beliefs as possible

2. Not believe non believers will be punished

3. Acknowledge that non believers have logic on their side. (in other words acknowledge that logic would deduce that the totality of all possible non beliefs is more likely to be true)
Thank god i got really stoned before reading this.
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Old 07-22-2016, 06:36 PM   #5
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Re: Pick a religion

OP first, this is blatantly preposterous and only trap the innocent. wtf
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Old 07-22-2016, 06:49 PM   #6
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Re: Pick a religion

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Originally Posted by Original Position View Post
A friend comes to you and says, "I've just had my first child, I've never been very religious or interested in religion, but I think religion can be a useful way to install good values in children. What religion or religious denomination should I join and why?"

What do you say?
I think I would say to pick and choose or rotate through several of them.
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Old 07-22-2016, 06:56 PM   #7
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Re: Pick a religion

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OP first, this is blatantly preposterous and only trap the innocent. wtf
It's not a trap and this is a thought experiment.
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Old 07-22-2016, 06:58 PM   #8
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Re: Pick a religion

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I think I would say to pick and choose or rotate through several of them.
Just arbitrary? No reason to prefer Unitarian Universalism to Shinto to Hasidism?
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Old 07-22-2016, 07:07 PM   #9
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Re: Pick a religion

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Just arbitrary? No reason to prefer Unitarian Universalism to Shinto to Hasidism?
I change my answer. I would recommend no religion for the child and only focusing on the Golden Rule. I'd suggest religious stories and myths can be used to inspire, but for values, I'd say use the Golden Rule as a framework to pay attention and learn from living.
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Old 07-22-2016, 07:17 PM   #10
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Re: Pick a religion

I would first stress that I don't know enough about the specific beliefs of enough varied religions to give a firm answer, but my first thought was, "Something like Unitarian Universalism." This assumes it has to be a "religion" and my friend doesn't consider some Humanist organization to be one.

Why? It seems to have the best chance of instilling "good values" without the coercion, guilt, fear, and other baggage.
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Old 07-22-2016, 08:14 PM   #11
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Re: Pick a religion

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Which religion is this then? And why 2?
Don't know which religion it IS. But I know some that its NOT.

Also I don't think you can count as a religion organizations that don't believe there is a supernatural entity that at least occasionally breaks laws of physics to interfere with what would otherwise happen. Believing in the Golden Rule etc isn't good enough to count as a religion. Neither is Deism.
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Old 07-22-2016, 10:28 PM   #12
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Re: Pick a religion

I'd ask a friend if they thought just one is enough of an educational value relative to what could be known about the whole topic.

Which may lead back to suggesting one which accepts eclecticism if my friend's still insists upon just one.
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Old 07-23-2016, 12:17 AM   #13
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Re: Pick a religion

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Just arbitrary? No reason to prefer Unitarian Universalism to Shinto to Hasidism?
Id go with that one over any of the relgions i know but i dont know that much about all world relgions so i could be wrong.
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Old 07-23-2016, 12:57 AM   #14
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Re: Pick a religion

I could make a case for a liberal open-minded version of Christianity. In second place would be theravada Buddhism



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Old 07-23-2016, 03:50 AM   #15
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Re: Pick a religion

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Thank god i got really stoned before reading this.
Likewise, let's go with Scientology,

because



I can.

And..because silly questions deserve silly answers (no offense to OP, good thread idea). Particularly in the case of a close friend.
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Old 07-23-2016, 07:38 AM   #16
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Re: Pick a religion

I'd say that they don't need religion "to install good values in children". I think it's ok for me to say that given how you worded the OP "what do you say?", but I'll go along with what I assume the intent was, that I should pick a religion from the ones I'm aware of, and I'll choose Buddhism, which for the purposes of this conversation I'll include as a religion when I wouldn't normally, but I think you regard it as a religion? The alternative for me would be to abstain from the conversation. I couldn't recommend another religion and I would do my best to make alternatives seem more appealing.

Why Buddhism? Although I don't share a belief in reincarnation (really it's just another way of using something like 'hell' to encourage good behaviour IMO), I think that generally Buddhism has values that are 'good', even 'nice'. I don't think Buddhist tenets can be interpreted in ways that support violence, homophobia, sexism or nationalism etc that's a good start. And I prefer to idea of karma to 'sin'. I don't think Buddhism seeks to control the way other religions do.
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Old 07-23-2016, 08:23 AM   #17
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Re: Pick a religion

Quote:
Originally Posted by Original Position View Post
A friend comes to you and says, "I've just had my first child, I've never been very religious or interested in religion, but I think religion can be a useful way to install good values in children. What religion or religious denomination should I join and why?"

What do you say?
I'm unsure of whether I am expected to meet my friend's question with a recommendation or whether a challenge to the premise is appropriate.

If the former I am going to assume my friend has some view as to what the values are she considers good and I would recommend she research which religious order best aligns with those values / is best at communicating them.

If a challenge is appropriate I may question how she arrived at the view without previously displaying an interest in religion but that if her view was well grounded wold return to the former answer.
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Old 07-23-2016, 03:08 PM   #18
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Re: Pick a religion

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Originally Posted by dereds View Post
I'm unsure of whether I am expected to meet my friend's question with a recommendation or whether a challenge to the premise is appropriate.

If the former I am going to assume my friend has some view as to what the values are she considers good and I would recommend she research which religious order best aligns with those values / is best at communicating them.

If a challenge is appropriate I may question how she arrived at the view without previously displaying an interest in religion but that if her view was well grounded wold return to the former answer.
You don't think she would be better off with a religion that aligns with her values not quite as much if it was also less judgemental and was less unscientific and superstitious?
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Old 07-24-2016, 04:16 AM   #19
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Re: Pick a religion

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Originally Posted by David Sklansky View Post
You don't think she would be better off with a religion that aligns with her values not quite as much if it was also less judgemental and was less unscientific and superstitious?
I'm unable to provide a specific recommendation to my friend because I am ignorant of the extent to which a particular religion aligns with her values but I would consider those among the values that are being considered.
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Old 07-24-2016, 10:17 AM   #20
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Re: Pick a religion

Quote:
Originally Posted by Original Position View Post
A friend comes to you and says, "I've just had my first child, I've never been very religious or interested in religion, but I think religion can be a useful way to install good values in children. What religion or religious denomination should I join and why?"

What do you say?
To be honest, i would tell my friend that none of the major religions are very useful at all in installing good values, because the damage they cause (e.g. guilt, self-flagellation, denunciation of others, twisted logic, etc.) out-weighs any good. I don't know much about the minor religions, so maybe there's one out there that would be useful.

I think raising your child to be open-minded is far more beneficial than to be religious.
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Old 07-24-2016, 12:06 PM   #21
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Re: Pick a religion

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I think raising your child to be open-minded is far more beneficial than to be religious.
I always find this interesting, because it can mean a lot of different things. What does raising a child to be open minded mean for you?
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Old 07-24-2016, 02:45 PM   #22
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Re: Pick a religion

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I always find this interesting, because it can mean a lot of different things. What does raising a child to be open minded mean for you?
Well, you're right, it does mean many things. One of the things i tell my son frequently is to listen, suspend judgment, exercise empathy, and be honest.

Am i the perfect role model? No. I've always told my son to be better than me. Hopefully, he will.
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Old 07-24-2016, 03:37 PM   #23
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Re: Pick a religion

I like the stabilizing influence of a very hands-off Christian religion, where faith is something to tap into for strength and comfort, without all the weird baggage, and giving and openness is empathized.

Anglican, perhaps? Lutheran? As practiced by the barely religious.

I don't like Buddhism for a child. While probably the most advanced of the major religions, it lacks elements of warmth and is a little too philosophical to ground a person. It also lacks the community aspects and focus of Christianity.
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Old 07-24-2016, 04:36 PM   #24
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Re: Pick a religion

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I don't like Buddhism for a child. While probably the most advanced of the major religions, it lacks elements of warmth and is a little too philosophical to ground a person. It also lacks the community aspects and focus of Christianity.
What I know about Buddhism would suggest the opposite. The whole point of Buddhism is to ground people by teaching them how to overcome states of mind that prevent peace and positivity. I don't see why the philosophy would be any harder for a child to grasp than many used by religions like Islam and Christianity which are often so complex that educated adults can't agree on them. Buddhism seems far more simple in comparison.
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Old 07-24-2016, 05:42 PM   #25
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Re: Pick a religion

A newer movement in Buddhism I have heard referred to as Engaged Buddhism is centered around engaging with warmth and compassion explicitly.
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