Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Christians as parents

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Nothing could possibly be worse than having Christian parents. The more Christian they are, the more dangerous. The problem as I see it is the following:
1. Impossible standards: Christians have a philosophical code which is anti-life. You can't live it. You are not supposed to. The code is intended to undermine your self-worth, to leave you damned in perpetuity. Remember you are evil by nature. A contradiction in terms, as ethics pertains to choice, not to robots.
2. Self-loathing: The implication is that Christians make the most condescending, autocratic and tyrannical parents because they need to deflect their own feelings of self-loathing. They can't be good, but by relative standards they need to feel better than someone else.
3. Judgemental: In the context of child raising, Christian parents can be very critical of their children. If they are a church elder, then they are even worse because they feel that their children are a measure of their own capacity as good Christians. The implication I find is that the children often are fearful of their parent(s), and have high levels of personal self-assurance. Everything they do is questioned. More problematic is that the standard they are being measured by is unintelligible, dogmatic. You might have heard of adults who say their parents were very hard on them; but they recognise that they were fair or that they did bad things. I'm not convinced they could not have been better parents, but at least they were able to conclude that their parents had a rational standard of value. My mother was subjected to this type of abuse because her father was a church minister. Fortunately he didn't sexually abuse her. That of course is another blog story.
4. Dogma: There is no good that can come from dogma. Acceptance of rules because they come from parents is not healthy because morality is contextual. Dogma does not help to develop a child's capacity to develop a moral system of values, but rather imposes a list of rules. Knowledge is a hierarchy of principles that derive from the facts of reality. It is not a list of assertions or 'commandments'. There is nothing wrong with providing kids with a list of rules for simplification, but this is no substitute for basing those rules in reality, or placing them in an intelligible moral framework. You won't find one in the dogmatic Bible. Its groundless assertion. Nonsense. The fact that you can quote it is not a badge of honour; its the surface wound of a scared childhood.
Andrew Sheldon
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Attention all atheists!!
In fact anyone who has had an interesting encounter with a Christian which involved manipulation, deception or blatant rationalisation. This is research or material for a forthcoming book. I am not suggesting that all Christians are criminals, dangerous or threats to society, but I am suggesting that Christianity is a basis for moral inefficacy. There is a reason why Christian nations are always at war. There is a reason why former Christians (or children of Christians) have a tendency to drift into cults and extreme religious groups. Thank you for any life experiences you can recall. ----------------------------------------------- Andrew Sheldon