Religion Should parents baptise their kids or let them decide?

harty1221

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I was baptised and told I’m a catholic however the older I’ve got I’ve realised there’s no such thing as god! I can walk down swan st Richmond and see heroine attics and go 10mins up the road to the royal children’s and see kids with cancer. It’s clear there is no such thing so should parents be baptising or letting their kids decide when they get older?


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Catfish Alley

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I can walk down swan st Richmond and see heroine attics and go 10mins up the road to the royal children’s and see kids with cancer.


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That's not really proof. You could have just as easily said a beautiful sunset or the complexity of life is evidence of a God. If your religious parents are right then its a good deal for you. If you're right, then it doesn't matter. We didn't babtise our kids thinking they can pick a whatever religion they want. That being said, we still do Easter, Christmas etc.
 

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Baltimore Jack

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That's not really proof. You could have just as easily said a beautiful sunset or the complexity of life is evidence of a God. If your religious parents are right then its a good deal for you. If you're right, then it doesn't matter. We didn't babtise our kids thinking they can pick a whatever religion they want. That being said, we still do Easter, Christmas etc.
Both of which eminated from Pagan religions and where stolen by christianity to give their own religion some 'authenticity'
 

owen87

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I was baptised and told I’m a catholic however the older I’ve got I’ve realised there’s no such thing as god! I can walk down swan st Richmond and see heroine attics and go 10mins up the road to the royal children’s and see kids with cancer. It’s clear there is no such thing so should parents be baptising or letting their kids decide when they get older?


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If you don't believe in God then a baptism was just some meaningless water dripped on your head.

Not sure it matters much in that case then does it?
 

owen87

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Doesn’t matter to me at all I’m just starting a discussion


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You weren't starting a discussion, you were pre-supposing an outcome.

It’s clear there is no such thing
If there's no such thing, then a baptism is just some water dripped on your head, ergo, who cares?

If there is such a thing - and parents getting their children baptised on the basis of faith must believe so - then seemingly they're doing what they think is best for their child, and if the child changes their mind later - who cares?

Either way, it comes down to the individual later in life. If God isn't real, then a baptism is as meaningful as having a bath. It's not like circumcising your child for example.
 

sorted

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If you don't believe in God then a baptism was just some meaningless water dripped on your head.

Not sure it matters much in that case then does it?
A bit of water dripped on a baby's head is no big deal.

Slicing the end of the penis off and a rabbi sucking the baby's cock is maybe more something to be concerned about.
 

Evolved1

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Forcing religion on your children before they have the intellectual and emotional capacity to question it is a form of child abuse. Sprinkling water on a babies head is just a silly religious practice that is harmless in and of itself, but its a clue to the stupidity of organised religion.

'Santa Claus for adults' is a valid comparison.
 

Jason mp

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If children are well educated they will come to their own conclusion that the belief in a benevolent all powerful eternal being who resides outside of time and space and is infatuated with among other things what we do to our own and each others genitals is somewhat absurd.
 

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owen87

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A bit of water dripped on a baby's head is no big deal.

Slicing the end of the penis off and a rabbi sucking the baby's cock is maybe more something to be concerned about.
I already mentioned that;

Either way, it comes down to the individual later in life. If God isn't real, then a baptism is as meaningful as having a bath. It's not like circumcising your child for example.
The OP asked about baptism though, not circumcision.
 

Evolved1

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If children are well educated they will come to their own conclusion that the belief in a benevolent all powerful eternal being who resides outside of time and space and is infatuated with among other things what we do to our own and each others genitals is somewhat absurd.
It depends on the level of indoctrination and the consequences attached to apostasy.

Many people never fully recover from child abuse, be it sexual, physical, mental, or spiritual.
 

Admiral Byng

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I was baptised and told I’m a catholic however the older I’ve got I’ve realised there’s no such thing as god! I can walk down swan st Richmond and see heroine attics and go 10mins up the road to the royal children’s and see kids with cancer. It’s clear there is no such thing so should parents be baptising or letting their kids decide when they get older?


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If you are a proper atheist it shouldn't matter who splashed a few drops of water on your head. It is an empty and meaningless ritual from the child's point of view, but it does no physical harm to the infant. it is more a rite of passage for the parents, presenting the child to the community etc.
 

Geelong_Sicko

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I can see the 'what's the harm' side of things, but as a baptised catholic who has long since renounced the faith I wish I had a say in the matter. I know theologically speaking an unbaptised soul gets shunted into a place called purgatory, which is meant to be like a waiting room between heaven and hell. They're stuck there until final judgement. It's understandable that a believer wouldn't want that for their kiddies.

As I said though, I don't believe a word of it. Give me choice.
 

Evolved1

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I can see the 'what's the harm' side of things, but as a baptised catholic who has long since renounced the faith I wish I had a say in the matter. I know theologically speaking an unbaptised soul gets shunted into a place called purgatory, which is meant to be like a waiting room between heaven and hell. They're stuck there until final judgement. It's understandable that a believer wouldn't want that for their kiddies.

As I said though, I don't believe a word of it. Give me choice.
My parents cleaned my dirty ass as a baby, so I don't care that I had some water splashed on my head in the name of a white arab fairy.

Given that my baptism was performed in Melbourne, I can be confident that the water used was of the highest quality.
 

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I was baptised and told I’m a catholic however the older I’ve got I’ve realised there’s no such thing as god! I can walk down swan st Richmond and see heroine attics and go 10mins up the road to the royal children’s and see kids with cancer. It’s clear there is no such thing so should parents be baptising or letting their kids decide when they get older?


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baptism doesnt do anything. So who cares. Circumcision is more concerning.
 

HairyO

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If it doesnt hurt it doesnt matter.

If it does, it does. Is there any inherent harm in it?

Most Christians are decent people. Some arent. Just like most religions and Atheists.
 

Caesar

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I can see the 'what's the harm' side of things, but as a baptised catholic who has long since renounced the faith I wish I had a say in the matter. I know theologically speaking an unbaptised soul gets shunted into a place called purgatory, which is meant to be like a waiting room between heaven and hell. They're stuck there until final judgement. It's understandable that a believer wouldn't want that for their kiddies.

As I said though, I don't believe a word of it. Give me choice.
I am in a similar boat and your points are well made. It is a dilemma for parents who believe. Who is to say a child will survive until an age where they can make an informed decision?

Although I stopped believing from a very young age, I do feel I have benefited from my parents’ decision to baptise me - mostly from a cultural and academic perspective.

On the other hand both myself and my brother spent several years serving as alter boys for a priest who is now generally acknowledged to have been a sex offender. We were lucky enough to escape becoming victims, but in retrospect the risk we ran was horrific.

The knowledge that she put us in harm’s way was enough to drive my mum away from the Church (no small feat for someone of solid Irish stock). If she had her time over, I suspect she would make some different decisions.

I am not inclined to baptise any children I may have, but I’d be lying if I said the prospect of an inside running on a Catholic school education wasn’t a strong temptation.
 
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Augmented Boat

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Every child has their religion selected for them by their Parents in every region of the world

No child finds a god, they are told about it
Lots of people find god. They generally do something horrible in their lives and can't live with themselves. They then "go and find" god and use it as a way to cope with living.

It's a tool for self preservation. Without religion they would have to face feeling guilty for whatever immoral thing they did or are currently doing.
 

Rusty Brookes

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I was baptised at the age of four, basically in order to get me into the local Catholic primary school. And that was more because of convenience - a five minute walk vs a near half hour walk. So presumably my parents were happy for me to go to purgatory for at least four years of my life. Or more accurately - they really didn't believe anyway. I did all of the Catholic rites - despite not believing any of it. It was more a thing we did because we went to a Catholic school. We only went to church for weddings, funerals and the school enforced stuff.

I ended up marrying a Catholic and more to appease her parents than anything, we got married in a church. Personally I didn't care either way. Our boy was baptised and we sent him to the local Catholic school. Turned out the school wasn't that great nor was his experience (don't worry no creepy priests but a very cliquey and uniform environment which didn't gel with him or us) and we ended up moving him to the local state school where he loved it. He didn't do his confirmation - we offered him the option if he wanted to do it, he said no, I said beaut we can go to the footy instead. I haven't seen the inside of a church of over five years and feel pretty good about it to be honest.

So the baptising itself - I don't think that matters. I think exposing them to a religion is OK. Indoctrinating them though - nah, I'm not down with that.

Should also note, not a single one of my mates I went to high school remains religious. Maybe it was because we all studied science but the religious teaching only helped us to realise the contradictions and absurdities of the Bible and the religion itself. And it wasn't much of a shock when we found out later, one of the worst pedo brothers had worked his evil at our school.
 

Pie eyed

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I was baptised and told I’m a catholic however the older I’ve got I’ve realised there’s no such thing as god! I can walk down swan st Richmond and see heroine attics and go 10mins up the road to the royal children’s and see kids with cancer. It’s clear there is no such thing so should parents be baptising or letting their kids decide when they get older?


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No different than "putting them on the waiting list for MCG Membership".
Then hope they get a proper education.
 

Roobs321

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I was baptised as a babe, but my father was a protestant church pastor throughout my early childhood, and I was their eldest, so it was kind of a no-brainer. A bit unthinking like immunisation really, a fairly customary cultural practice that marks childhood, opens doors, ostensibly protects.

No big deal, I'm sure when I was in single digits and christianity was a part of my life that I would have appreciated baptism then. I remain nostalgically fond of my biblical early childhood, even if I've never been an adult believer, nor given a toss about an afterlife. I'd seen my father assist with baptising family friends in the local lake.

The issue here is that you might have majority national cultures poking their nose into the customs of ethnic and religious minorities, or less respected new religious movements. Fair enough to a point to combat dodginess that transgresses universal human rights, but in taking away you might also create the need for the ritual to be regretfully reexplored later in life. The absence of ritual might even be used as external blame for an unsatisfied life lived. Projecting one religion as a normative framework upon the practices of others also won't work.

I agree that there is a difference between exposing and indoctrinating. I wouldn't describe anything in my history as active indoctrination. Prostestant christianity with service, sunday school and community stuff largely teaches good values and ethics. Scripture class, military chaplains, spreading the love of Jesus, it is all fairly theological and comforting but never forceful. My father turned his back on the church by the time I was a teen, and his typicalist RWNJ fearfully conservative views have virtually nothing to do with religious belief. Religion would just be a convenient sheepskin for anything done in its name in such a case.
 

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