Sunday, July 19, 2009

Day 6: Religion and Politics

These are two topics that are often avoided, especially together. The reason I bring them up is because of the legal assessment of political maturity. Here in the U.S., Uncle Sam says that you have to be 18 years of age to vote. Why? Well, a safe assumption would be that by 18 years of age one has acquired a basic understanding of politics and is able to vote without being influenced by authority or society. If you're not mentally mature enough to unbiasedly grasp basic politics before then, why would an 8 year old be mentally mature enough to understand theology?


  1. That is a great point, and one that Richard Dawkins continually presses. I think this only shows a weakness of religion, the fact that its members must be indoctrinated at an early age, because if they waited until they were older and able to think for themselves, the church knows they would be much less likely to accept any religious claims. Another fact is that fear plays a critical role in a child's mental and moral development. They don't steal candy because they fear being caught, not because they understand Kant's Categorical Imperitive (aka Golden Rule) or have empathy for fellow human beings. When you tell an 8 year old that if they don't life their life according to these rules, and listen to what the church says, that they will be eternally damned and tortured for ever, they will do whatever they can to avoid that punishment, out of fear. This is where, I believe, that religious indoctrination can border upon child abuse.

  2. Yes. That does ring a bell. "The God Delusion" was one of many books I used for my Science vs. Religion thesis.