When I was 18 years old and in first year university (even more ignorant and dense than I am now), I was making many, if not most of the arguments you present in this thread and elsewhere, e.g. religion in oppressive, everything is relative, that housewives are prostitutes, and women just love - okay I'm paraphrasing here and I now I will digress, but for a reason - having sex in meaningless relationships - GiC, women lie like dogs about that by the way, as we're in denial, and then realize later what idiots we were (including most of my girlfriends who are staunchly secular). Also, giving up a career to care for children as soul-destroying - do you realize that the majority of women have crappy jobs that are soul destroying, and only an elite few don't?
Eh...perspectives about sexuality tend to change with hormone fluctuation, in both men and women. I'm more than willing to bet that, absent your philosophical and psychological developments towards religion, I would be able to give you the correct cocktail of hormones to yet again change your perspective. I've seen it happen before my very eyes. In the end you're asking people to deny their very biology.
Interesting. So no moral problems if we dope up the populace so they obey without question. After all, it's just biology.
Anyway, I get the impression that you don't really know so much about women, and considering the time you spend on forums...maybe I'm wrong and I am digressing in order to make a broader point; you don't yet seem to have enough experience to comment wisely about the basic, everyday, boring little world within which the rest of us supposedly ignorant peons live. Therefore, you end up coming across as, well, frankly irrational on a number of subjects (and I'll admit, as a woman - yes, a generalization - I am a fretter and can become irrational at the drop of a hat), reducing your credibility considerably.
You may be right that I don't have enough experience to comment on 'basic, everyday, boring' life...once life starts getting that way I quit my job or find another academic programme and move to a different part of the country. I frankly can't understand why someone would allow themselves settle into such a mundane existence.
Trust me, I'm very much a live and let live sort of person overall, and would probably be considered quite liberal in many respects here, but honestly, if you really want to make a dent in people's opinions regarding religion, you really have to make far more sophisticated arguments. Like I said, many of your arguments are typical young undergrad stuff. Not that undergrads are necessarily stupid, just lacking in enough insight and experience, and likely too drunk or high, to really think things through. They are also extremely hyprocritical. We all are, but it's particularly bad amongst those of a sophomoric bent.
Well, then, perhaps you could instruct me as to the sophisticated way to argue the obvious fact that there's no all-powerful invisible man in the sky personally concerned with your sex life. Now granted, I threw in a rhetorical quip there; however, it betrays a couple important points. First of all, the concept of a god is so absurd it is quite difficult to take the idea seriously, if you can't take an idea seriously, it's rather difficult to seriously debate it. Just consider, if you ran into some people who were radically devoted to the idea that Santa Clause is real and threatened you with eternal torture for denying the fact, could you really manage to create a serious and sophisticated argument against them? I would suggest that you would have a rather difficult time intelligently engaging such people in debate; likewise, those who understand that the very concept of a god is equally absurd can have a difficult time seriously engaging those who don't realize as much.
Simple. Threaten them with execution if they don't recant. Who's willing to die for Santa? Big difference between Christ and Christ Kringel.
Ah, the arrogance of a sophmore!
Having spent many years not making a stand, other than attempting to supposedly get people to think and freak them out (actually pretty hard to do where I live, as people of religious belief are kind of pariahs here), I came to the realization that it is too difficult to live that way long term. As for the raising of children within religion as being abusive, it would seem that you also have little practical experience with children and their welfare.
Also, I would agree that one could raise a child in faith in a way that is abusive, but setting an example by attending church and praying with your children, and teaching them about the beliefs of the faith in a gentle and loving manner provides a basic structure off which children thrive. They may choose differently later - so be it. But done lovingly, those children will at least have warm and secure feelings about their childhood, a community of people and even perhaps of God, even if they ultimately end up disagreeing with the theology. I should know - I didn't grow up with any solid of any kind, and I seriously wish I had.
Yes, they could choose to follow a different religion, but the overwhelming majority of people will follow the religion they were brought up in...so that's hardly a viable argument. Wouldn't it be more reasonable to not expose children to religion at all, or if one does expose them equally to several different religious expressions, so they can truly be in a position to decide for themselves without cultural, social, or psychological pressure?
Your experiment is under way as we speak. It's called the Public School system. It often runs into another laboratory testing your theory, called the juvenile court system. I deal with both. Can't say much for the results.
Further, you say 'setting an example by attending church and praying with your children, and teaching them about the beliefs of the faith in a gentle and loving manner provides a basic structure off which children thrive'. But I must wonder, would you be comfortable if instead of Christianity some parents were to lovingly instruct their children in the ideals of Communism? Before each meal they can give thanks to Marx, Stalin, and Mao...they can praise them as our salvation from the evils of capitalism. They can diligently take them to communist party meetings, enroll them in communist youth organizations, teach them of the comming class war and liberation of the proletariat. Day in and day out they can instruct them in communist doctrine and warn them of the threat of the evil capitalists...and they can become steeped in the ideals of communism.
You talk as if this is not done.
I can't speak for you personally, but I know that many people who would be comfortable with this kind of activity by Christians or another religious organization would be appalled to see a political ideology crammed down their throat. Why not give the same reasonable deference to moderation in matters of religion as we, in general, give in matters of politics?
Children can't vote. But they can pray.