Religion, Spirituality, or Lack Thereof


#1562

You don’t need to be.


#1563

very funy


#1564

I know, it was just the implication


#1565

To clarify: You aren’t required to be of consenting age, but I feel like you should be.

If A. You accept that a particular religion (in this case christianity) is true, then
B. you must believe that heaven and hell are real, or whatever the “you did good” and “you did bad” versions of that are in particular religions… Meaning
C. There are very real consequences to getting baptized or not, accepting one religion over the other, meaning
D. if you truly believe it then it means it is a huge and momentous life choice and therefore should require the ability to choose, which
E. Means you have to be of the age of consent. And the only reason it’s not enforced is because
F. Separation of church and state…

Which was my thought process, anyway, which led to me asking that question, which led to them saying it was a matter of spiritual maturity, and honestly the end of that discussion is the very reason I don’t get into these discussions very often.

Because any religious discussion will always, when it boils down to it, end with my questions answered as “It’s faith,” or “It’s an indescribable thing, you either understand it or you don’t.”

So if you’re telling me that a child is able to have a full and spiritually and emotionally mature understanding of god to the extent that they are able to make the choice themselves, then I want to know why they’re allowed to self-evaluate their maturity in this field when they can’t in any other field.

And if it’s not about the choice, and you SHOULD be able to force children into your religion and belief system, then… well… why is that okay?


#1566

Not as funny as you taking such a tongue in cheek comment seriously.


#1567

The point is not to say that children should be able to decide their own maturity in everything. But the child doesn’t just decide and them immediately get baptized. Adults, others who are more mature and have more experience have to make sure the child knows what they’re doing and understand.

I understand where you’re coming from, and that’s why many people do wait until they’re older to get baptized. Maybe mine is a rare case, but the age of consent is usually between 16 and 18 and even then peoples brains aren’t fully developed so if you really want to argue that people need to be fully mature (at least brain wise) then you need to specify that people should wait till after 25.And for some, even after 25 they’re not really mature.

Regardless, different maturities happen at different ages, some gain different kinds of maturity faster than others. For matters of law, most things wait till 16-25 so that at least some emotional maturity is somewhat in place.

Religion isn’t a matter of you getting in a car and accidentally killing someone, or you buying alcohol and destroying your health.

Yes, baptism is a life changing decision, yes the implications need to be understood fully, but steps are taken towards that, and it’s not expected of a newly baptized person to be completely and fully mature in their faith. No one can be completely and fully mature in faith, we’re always learning.

Yes, it does come down to faith and the unseen, because that’s what religion hinges on, but knowledge is a part of it, relationship is a part of it, and faith is a part of it.

As a related side not: just because a child is young doesn’t mean they’re stupid or ignorant. They may not have fully developed, but we should never underestimate them.


#1568

I understand haha. And I don’t underestimate children. I was one, you know. ;D

Perhaps if I had been raised in the same environment as you, we would agree on more things. But I appreciate having a nice rational discussion about it!


#1569

Hinduism is probably the one major world religion that I know the least about. I have heard that it is very culturally connected to India, right? If it’s okay, I have a couple questions about people joining the religion. This might sound extremely ignorant or something, so I apologize in advance for any stupid questions! Really, I’m curious about the prevalence of outsiders converting to Hinduism. Are most people born into it? Are you actively recommended to bring others into the religion, or is that not enforced?


#1570

Is it okay if I put your words a little more bluntly?
I think you are worried when something like:

“THE MATTER OF THE SALVATION OF YOUR ETERNAL SOUL DEPENDS ON YOU MAKING THE RIGHT RELIGIOUS CHOICE AT A VERY YOUNG AGE OR ELSE YOU WILL BE DAMNED!”
And the matter doesn’t get much better when the child most likely had less opportunities to seek or study with same regard any other religious options aside the ones described by their parents, so the options given will most likely be biased.

But not all religions are like that, many of them don’t even have this “salvation” thing. Besides, if someone isn’t satisfied with the religion they “chose” as a child, nothing really stops them to change and adopt other religious practices that suit their concept of the world better. It has become more and more common for people to change religious practices or faith when they become older, are no longer dependent of their parents and fear less social ostracism.


#1571

Yeah, somehow I fail to see how ‘I believe in Hell’ is equivalent to ‘I want to get married’. Most religions raise children in the religion, I don’t see what the problem is?


#1572

My knowledge about Hinduism is basic, but I think I can help with few questions.

Yes, Hinduism originated in India and still is the most prevalent religion there. It is a polytheistic religion, meaning it has many gods and deities.
As far as I know, Hinduism has no missionary works since it doesn’t ascribe that people should “be saved” of any god’s wrath’s, nor it states that hinduism is the only correct path to spirituality. So it sees no need to “spread the word or the good news.”

Take my info with a grain of salt.


#1573

I think ‘originated’ is the word you’re looking for?

Hinduism doesn’t have missionaries but some organizations do outreach in historically Hindu communities I think


#1574

Thanks,


#1575

I guess the problems that come from raising a child in a religious home wouldn’t be apparent a lot of the time.

But it’s the reason I have low self esteem. It’s the reason it took me almost 30 years to figure out it’s okay to say ‘no’ to people. It’s the reason it took me almost that long to figure out how to stop being used.

it’s the reason girls grow up hating their bodies, or boys grow up thinking masturbating is sinful and makes your penis fall off.

It’s the reason girls grow up thinking of themselves as lesser than men, or that they deserve to be subjucated, or that they aren’t pure or holy enough to be allowed to be ordained as priests.

Obviously not all religions are like that but saying “I don’t see a problem with kids being raised religious” to me says you have not really interacted with strictly religious people and how they raise their children that much.


#1576

I don’t mind at all. :smiley: And yeah it certainly puts a lot of pressure on a kid to confront the idea of eternal damnation lmao.

And of course, like you said, nothing stops you from changing your religious beliefs as an adult either. But when you’re brainwashed to think that if you do leave your religion it will damn you to hell it certainly makes that decision way harder.


#1577

That is definitely a problem but I have reservations.

Not allowing people to raise their children in their faith would be totalitarianism, pure and simple.It would be indoctrination on the government’s part. It is unfortunate that people have to go through what you did but I don’t see new rules as a solution to this


#1578

I was also going to say something like this, but you already said it.

There are faiths that consider apostasy a pretty serious thing, so there would be religious and possibly familial and culture pressure not to switch.

Which is the concern, because then even if someone is questioning a religion/faith system they were raised in, they might feel unable to leave that out of some fear of punishment/shunning/retribution/etc.


#1579

This is a good point, I thought, because any large institutional control over the individual (government or religious) has potential for abuse.

But I think what we can do in our own areas is to encourage critical thinking skills in young people so that however they are raised, when adult we can trust they will make their own choices, both as to what politic to support but also what beliefs to hold.


#1580

Or it might mean that you don’t know what it’s like being in other religions’ households. Or maybe your definition of “religious” itself is skewed…because tons of people don’t even have religion in their lives (or their religion doesn’t even have a patriarchal system) and they still grow up hating themselves, unable to say “no” to people, and girls being seen as less than men.


#1581

I’ve definitely seen this issue with my Mormon friends - It’s a very real and very serious issue in Mormon communities that there is no outreach for teenagers kicked out of their homes for refusing to follow the Mormon teachings. There’s a huge number of homeless teens in Utah area because of this exact reason.