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  1. #1
    Senior Member Into It's Avatar
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    Default Is the truth really so bad?

    Most people I know grew up in one sort of religious household or another. Many parents of the people I know would be classified as "religious moderates," I think; they didn't really go to church all that often or even talk about religion much. Why did they feel this drive to be religious at all, then? I mean this especially in those cases where one feels the sacred texts are quite possibly not sacred, but only that they provide positive moral advice and guidance. Why not choose a favorite philosopher instead?

    Perhaps they did not know any philosophers to begin with, and religion is an "easy way" to raise a child right. It's been tried and tested. It's much like a fashion; you must dress SOME way, and if you deviate too far from the norm you risk being ostracized. Ironically, it is those who choose to wear no clothes at all who stand out the most.

    But I am trying to get at the reason that it is commonly viewed as not only moral but absolutely essential to lie to your children. The psychological impact of the prospect of death; becoming something that is no longer Self, deserves its own thread. I don't think it is fully realized by many yet just how much death plays into our beliefs and actions. Or genes have been selected, over many others, because ours are those that make a strong effort to avoid death. We are built on a genetic level to run each time we are near it. Since we are not mere mammals but have great powers of reasoning (by comparison), the fear of death may be greatly compounded in us. I am not sure that there is any time when one is old enough or mature enough to accept the fact that death is certain, though some are able to mitigate the fear that this thought initially causes. It follows from this belief that there is not a time when we are too young to learn of this. I spend some time pondering the fact that the vast majority of people on this planet don't actually believe that they are going to die. This is testament to the fact of death being very difficult to cope with. Many of the more rational people I know, those who are not religious generally, find it likely that there is life after death. I think it is about as likely as the sun having a core of ice. The statement itself cannot be made without contradiction.

    The two things I credit for this vastly delusional idea of death are that religion keeps the idea of the afterlife in the mainstream, and equally important, we do not learn about death early enough. Many of us, while we are three or four years old, unable to tell what is fantasy and what is not, are told that our goldfish goes to "Goldfish Heaven" which is somewhere in the city's sewer system. We do not recognize death - one certainty on par with gravity - as a reality during the period that we are learning what is and is not real.

    Many people, even if they knew that there was no afterlife, would STILL teach their kids that there was one. We REALLY want to lie to them about this. I do not think it is reasonable. Where do you stand on this?
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  2. #2
    Senior Member Survive & Stay Free's Avatar
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    I stand on the "you're totally wrong" grassy knoll and I'm training my sights on you as I speak. Just waiting for someone to open fire from the book depository though.

  3. #3
    Senior Member lowtech redneck's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Into It View Post
    Many people, even if they knew that there was no afterlife, would STILL teach their kids that there was one. We REALLY want to lie to them about this. I do not think it is reasonable. Where do you stand on this?
    As I've stated before on these death and religion threads, if truth=nihilism, then whatever is utilitarian is the only "truth" that matters. Why would it not be "reasonable" to lie to children in this manner if it has utilitarian benefits for the children involved?

  4. #4
    Senior Member VagrantFarce's Avatar
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    They do it because it makes them feel reassured and special. To them it doesn't matter whether it's true or not, the only barometer they know to use is how it makes you feel.

    It would be easy for me to say that I would never lie to my kids, never stunt their curiosity, never shout at them etc., but I don't have kids and I don't know what it's like to take care of them. Depending on the kid, maybe the straight truth really does hurt a little too much.
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  5. #5
    desert pelican Owl's Avatar
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    If you don't believe in an after life and you you're a materialist, then I don't think you should have children in the first place. Why would you bring a child into the world if this were the case? In view of all the suffering in the world, and our inability to control the world, bringing another person into the world would be irresponsible at best and sadistic at worst. It's worse than being the cause of a car wreck, because you decided to drive drunk: even though you're responsible for the suffering brought on by your decision, at least you're not responsible for the fact that the people you maimed or killed existed such that they could experience this suffering.

    However, if there is no personal immortality, there is no rational basis for ethics. If the consequence is the same no matter how you choose to live, then there's no rational way to evaluate one way of life as being better than another. And if all men die, and all death is equal, then all men struggle toward the same end, no matter how they choose to arrive there.

  6. #6
    Senior Member milkyway2's Avatar
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    I'm not sure. I see that kids who are raised in church are (sometimes) smarter and more disciplined. But then on the other hand, I could not possibly ever raise my kids religious because I do not believe in God and I won't lie to my kids.

    My mom's a christian and raised me a christian. I am grateful to her because she's so loving, kind, and a great mother, she taught me to be nice to others and all sorts of nice things. But I do also resent her for forcing me to believe something. Whenever I would ask her questions as a kid she told me the answer from the viewpoint of a Christian and also told me that was the only right answer. She didn't encourage thinking on my own and trying to find out anything for myself. She says the only things I need to do are love and serve God. And according to her the only reason to ever do anything is to please God. When I was younger I believed her because she IS smart. Which tricked me. And I do kind of hold all that against her.

  7. #7
    Senior Member Robert165's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lowtech redneck View Post
    As I've stated before on these death and religion threads, if truth=nihilism, then whatever is utilitarian is the only "truth" that matters. Why would it not be "reasonable" to lie to children in this manner if it has utilitarian benefits for the children involved?
    it's not resoanable if the lie is easily detectable
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  8. #8
    Minister of Propagandhi ajblaise's Avatar
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    It's not truth people fear. It's not knowing the truth that's so unbearable for people. So they make it up, or someone makes it up for them. Anything for closure.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Robert165's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ajblaise View Post
    It's not truth people fear. It's not knowing the truth that's so unbearable for people. So they make it up, or someone makes it up for them. Anything for closure.
    agreed
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    I'm just trying to do this Jigsaw puzzle, before it rains anymore.

  10. #10
    Senior Member milkyway2's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ajblaise View Post
    It's not truth people fear. It's not knowing the truth that's so unbearable for people. So they make it up, or someone makes it up for them. Anything for closure.
    true dat

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