19 November 2009

"Please Don't Label Me.." campaign


How do you feel about this?

For those of you of a religious affiliation or perhaps even another sort of world view or political pole, do you feel like children should be indoctrinated with their parent's beliefs? Sure, parents have a responsibility to raise their kids with morals and naturally they would want to pass along what has worked for them, but do they have to be tied to the same beliefs and rationals as the parents? Could the universal ethics stay with the underlying beliefs there as options among others? Is this possible? Are there universal ethics?

Today over at Friendly Atheist, there was a story on this new billboard campaign that is sponsered by, among others, The British Humanist Association. You can read about it here: http://friendlyatheist.com/2009/11/19/new-dont-label-me-billboard-campaign-in-the-uk/ and http://www.humanism.org.uk/billboards .



Matt Ralph said...

"Let me grow up and choose for myself."

Doesn't this already happen in just about every family that exists in free nations around the world?

Parents raise their kids a certain way and then they get to choose whether to adopt their parents' ideas or not. My dad put a Yankees uniform on me when I was two but I chose not to like the Yankees. He encouraged me to go into the military and I chose not to, etc.

Honestly, I'm having a hard time understanding why this ad even exists.

chrisflinchbaugh said...

Nice to see you weigh in Matt. I agree that almost all children ultimately get to choose what they believe and want to follow, but the Yankee's uniform is a little different than what this about.

Most, I stress "most", families don't allow their love and dedication for a particular sports team to inform or create the worldviews. On the other hand religion or political allegiance can, and often does, do just that. It can take a very long time for a child to recover from that indoctrination no matter how true the stuff or how well-meaning the speakers.

That even leaves out the children who grow into teenagers and eventually adults who don't have any idea why they believe what they believe. From there they usually spout what they think they know to non-converters which they don't understand because it doesn't make sense or they have a crisis. From the crisis they become more entrenched, reform drastically into their own version of belief, or shed it all in the interest of figuring out their own worldview. This last step is a hard one. It is drastic and painful but so so necessary for many people in this position. It might not be necessary if the sentiment in the ad is heeded.

I'm not sure about how this plays out, but I certainly think it is a worthwhile conversation for a society that wants the best for their children and the world.

I'd love to hear more from you.

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