"Raising Children Without the Concept of Sin"

Discussion in 'Religion & Philosophy' started by carlosofcali, Mar 7, 2019.

  1. carlosofcali

    carlosofcali Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    Thought-provoking article on the notion of sin. Now a parent, the author views moral behavior without the constraints of Christian guilt.

    Any thoughts?


    "And after years of living a “secular” life, I realized that my notion of sin has evolved. As a girl, my focus was on gaining admittance to heaven. Now I believe that this life is the only life we’ll know; this planet, our only existence. I am no longer motivated by fear of an unproven hell, but by real-world concerns about injustice and inequality."

    "Raising Children Without the Concept of Sin"
    https://www.nytimes.com/2019/01/25/...ry=US&blockId=home-living-vi&imp_id=313407170
     
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  2. ModCon

    ModCon Well-Known Member

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    Most of the things which are considered sinful are things which cause you or someone else to suffer. Engaging in those things can create hell on this earth, nevermind what happens after you pass.

    The concept of sin in this regard has practical implications. A tangible understanding can be had without making a child a nervous wreck, wondering whether or not they'll suffer in hell for eternity, or making them feel like they're flawed.

    I do agree though that "he who spares the rod hates his son". It's much easier to just let your children flail around stupidly through life (until it comes back to you). It's necessary to teach them that there's consequences for everything, which isn't easy.
     
  3. carlosofcali

    carlosofcali Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    Are you suggesting physical discipline?
     
  4. ModCon

    ModCon Well-Known Member

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    Yeah, I'm old school. But it's a last ditch effort, after words and reasoning have failed for the umpteenth time, and it's only the amount of discipline that's needed to get their attention.
     
  5. Distraff

    Distraff Well-Known Member

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    Teaching our children that sin is real requires drilling a belief of blind faith in a religion into them. I believe that blind faith in any dogma created in ancient times with bronze-age values is absolutely dangerous. We should teach our kids to understand that they need to make good life choices that give them fulfilling lives, and be kind to people so they can be part of a community that supports everyone.
     
  6. carlosofcali

    carlosofcali Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    Those are the sentiments of the author as well. Law and Gospel is a Protestant concept that emphasizes the fear of wrongdoing with the anticipation of forgiveness.
     
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  7. CourtJester

    CourtJester Well-Known Member

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    I don't know about others on the forum but I have been around two families of grandchildren raised with no physical discilpine even in the most egregious instances of misbehavior and have found them to be overwhelmingly disrespectful to adults and in general extremly selfish and unwilling to do anything to help wirh the functioning of the family.
     
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  8. carlosofcali

    carlosofcali Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    :laughing:

    But if the child reports physical discipline to a teacher a report will be sent to the Child Abuse Hotline. Perhaps followed by an unannounced visit by police/ social worker.
     
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  9. Monash

    Monash Well-Known Member

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    Empathy and guilt are closely linked in human physiology and a (relative) lack of the former has direct bearing on the ability of a person to feel the latter. And of course there is also a direct link between guilt and 'sin' as defined by various religions throughout history. You might be able to raise a child without the concept of sin but without the acknowledging the existence of guilt? You'd probably be raising a monster.

    I would also question the focus of the article on 'Christian sin' since all major regions of the world share the concept (even Buddhism depending on the branch).
     
    Last edited: Mar 8, 2019
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  10. ModCon

    ModCon Well-Known Member

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    Which in some cases may be completely warranted. There's a line between abuse and discipline, and it's thin. If a parent is going beyond a single swat on the rear, they're in danger of crossing the line.

    Physical abuse is horrible, but mental abuse can result in much worse results. A parent can absolutely decimate their child, for decades, through words.

    Then there's other realms which I consider abusive, like pumping your child full of psycotropic medications or allowing them unlimited/unrestricted screen time because you're not up to the task of parenting.
     
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  11. Monash

    Monash Well-Known Member

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    Case in point, many years ago I was visiting a mutual friends home, an artist together with other family members and friends. During the course of the day I ended up 'escorting' a toddler, (now a grown up young woman) around the house while her parents ate. We go into the artist's workshop to look at his paintings and there within reach is a glass bowel full of nice shiny pins.

    Toddler X immediately makes a bee line for the pins. I intervene and say 'no X don't touch' or some such. She stops for a second and then reaches for them again. This time I pull her hand away and repeat the warning. After that I start to lead her away - she turns round and before she can be stopped scoops up a handful of pins and tries to put them in her mouth. I immediately strike her hand and she drops the pins. Many tears ensue, together with wails of indication to her parents (who incidentally didn't blame me).

    So illegal physical discipline or not?
     
    Last edited: Mar 9, 2019
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  12. ModCon

    ModCon Well-Known Member

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    Not remotely. Though people will have a thousand suggestions of what you could've done differently, being the masters of child rearing that they are.

    Children have extremely limited attention spans, comprehension of language, and life experience. Words simply do not work sometimes. But children can understand the relationship between discomfort and objects/situations.
     
  13. Derideo_Te

    Derideo_Te Well-Known Member

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    It is possible to teach a child self discipline WITHOUT resorting to the "sin" of capital punishment.

    The greatest sin in America today is GREED and AVARICE!

    It has become the foundation of our society.

    We WORSHIP the wealthy elite 1% who leech off society while giving back nothing of any value.

    Teaching a child to respect others, themselves and the rest of the living things that we share the our planet with is all that is needed. Exposing them to the wonders of the natural world and our universe inspires a sense of awe that is greater than any theist dogma. Having compassion and empathy for the less fortunate and standing up for what is right and the rights of others is far more important than embracing an outdated and irrelevant set of "commandments".

    There is no point instilling a fear of an imaginary "afterlife" of pain and suffering for no better reason than to exercise control over their behavior. At some point they will figure out that it is a lie and they will then reject it and those who imposed it on them.
     
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  14. ModCon

    ModCon Well-Known Member

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    I basically said that there's no need to instill a fear of eternal suffering in children.

    Interesting reply, but not sure what inspired it.
     
  15. Derideo_Te

    Derideo_Te Well-Known Member

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    Odds are that the parents lack self discipline which means they do not know how to teach discipline to their own kids. The blame lies with the parents, not the kids!

    Physical discipline is unnecessary and counterproductive since all it actually teaches is that "might is right" and the abuse is passed down from generation to generation.

    Teaching mental discipline requires self discipline. It is even more effective because it requires the use of immediate consequences for failure to comply. If a child fails to tidy their room then put all the toys in a black bag and put them out with the garbage. The next time the child will tidy their room when told to do so.
     
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  16. ModCon

    ModCon Well-Known Member

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    Oh yeah, that's good. Take all the things that they've spent hours engaging with, things they have emotional attachments to, and strip it from them. You should probably yell obscenities while doing so, that'll be extra helpful. Just flip their world completely upside down, that'll learn 'em.
     
  17. Derideo_Te

    Derideo_Te Well-Known Member

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    Kindly refrain from projecting in the future!

    An adult BEATING a small child is NOT discipline, it is child abuse.

    An adult demonstrating to a small child the CONSEQUENCES of failing to participate in household chores is teaching them how to TAKE RESPONSIBILITY for their own possessions.

    That this lesson was never learned is patently obvious in those who resort to physical child abuse rather than than taking the time and trouble to engage in actual parenting.
     
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  18. ModCon

    ModCon Well-Known Member

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    You seem to be conflating any sort of physical discipline with a literal beating. There's a difference between the two, but the parent has to be measured.

    A swat on the ass after hours of trying to reason with a child is not the same as backhanding a child in the face because they looked at you wrong or said 'no' when you told them to stop doing something.

    The example you gave of throwing away a childs toy's is more damaging than warning them over and over again that they'll get a spanking if they don't clean their room, and then finally doing it. They get the point that the mess has to be cleaned up, and they get to keep their toys. Rinse repeat until they get the idea. What are going to do, keep buying toys? Do you have children?
     
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  19. Derideo_Te

    Derideo_Te Well-Known Member

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    To a small child being hit by a full grown adult is a "literal beating". What is even worse is the THREAT of being physically beaten. Never stopped to consider what happens mentally to a small child when it is intimidated by the threat of violence that it has no ability to flee from or defend itself? Obviously not!

    Telling a child to clean their room and then giving subsequent warnings of the consequences gives them ample opportunity to comply. If they don't the toys are picked up and put in a black bag. The child does not know that the bag remains in the garage until the toys are gradually reintroduced into their room at the bottom of the closet or other toy storage compartment. Merely going to get a black bag in the future ensures that the room is cleaned up. The child has learned their lesson without suffering any physical trauma at all.

    The first time she threw a tantrum in public because she wanted a toy and we would not buy it for her was also the ONLY occasion on which she did it. I just reached down, picked her up and tucked her under my arm while she continue to have her tantrum. After a couple of minutes I put her down and asked her if she wanted to carry on like that. She shook her head so we hugged and kissed and carried on.

    So yes, this is exactly how I raised my own child and it works like a charm. She learned all of the lessons she needed to learn and was never once beaten. Today she has a successful career and is making a name for herself in her chosen profession.

    Physically beating a child is a sure sign of FAILING as a parent IMO.
     
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  20. ModCon

    ModCon Well-Known Member

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    Congratulations, millions of actual parents applaud your anecdotal experience. We all wish we could be as heroically perfect as the nonsense experience you're putting forth.

    *Pelosi clap*

    You're full of it. The question is why.
     
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  21. Derideo_Te

    Derideo_Te Well-Known Member

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    Your puerile attempt to denigrate effective parenting WITHOUT any physical abuse says volumes!

    Perhaps if you took the trouble to do any research you would discover that what I did is comparable to millions of others who have evolved to a better parenting methodology.

    Then again I won't be holding my breath waiting for that to happen for obvious reasons.
     
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  22. CourtJester

    CourtJester Well-Known Member

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    Sorry but that is all nonsense. Every adult I know had spankings when deserved and turned out just fine.

    And only a moron would throw out a child's toys knowing full well that they will end up replacing them.
     
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  23. Derideo_Te

    Derideo_Te Well-Known Member

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    Scientific studies has proven that physical abuse does far more harm than good. Only a moron would ignore the studies and believe that they know better just because they were the victim of childhood abuse and in turn physically abused their own children.

    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2896871/

    In other words children exposed to physical abuse have smaller frontal lobes and in turn expose their own children to the same physical abuse thus ensuring that they too have smaller frontal lobes.

    Obviously this would reduce their cognitive ability to discern that they did NOT turn out "just fine".
     
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  24. CKW

    CKW Well-Known Member

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    I've had the opportunity to raise several children. The one thing I learned is that children are different and may need different methods that help them gain self control and respect for authority...

    Saying that the only way is your way simply hurts those children who's parents are intimidated from resources and tactics that can be beneficial to their upbringing.

    A slap on the hand is not a "beating". To a toddler who understands but ignores the word "no" , it's effective communication and a world changing life experience that leads them in the right direction.

    A swat on the butt might be the one thing nessesary for that situation where a child has crossed the line. My youngest son needed a swat now and then. My daughter never did.

    Children who lack respect for their parents and others seem to be brought up by parents who have a revulsion against any corporate punishment and allow their children to integrate bad behavior in their habits as the parents figure out and practice other new and improved tactics that don't work.

    Ultimately boundaries set by discipline that is effective and stops behavior from incessently repeating is the best outcome.
     
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  25. Derideo_Te

    Derideo_Te Well-Known Member

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    Physically harming a small child has proven NEGATIVE effects and no positive effects whatsoever.

    Figuring out alternative ways to raise a child without physical abuse means that the parents have to actually put in the effort and find ways that work because not every child is going to respond in the same manner. Taking the time to sit down and actually talk to your child means putting them ahead of your own needs. A child who never has the attention of their parents is far more likely to act up and misbehave in order to obtain that attention. Failing to recognize that all the child wants is some attention is on the parent, not the child. I have seen the identical pattern of behavior in young dogs. They want the attention of their owners and when they are ignored they too will misbehave.

    This is NOT rocket science but it DOES require taking your duties as a parent responsibly and putting in the time and effort.

    Speaking personally I found that effort to be highly rewarding and well worth my time. I would have cheated both my child and myself had I failed to do it. I can't think of a more WORTHWHILE way to spend time than with an inquiring young mind and aren't your own children worth that effort on your part?
     
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