Saturday, February 19, 2011

Day 51: Education or Indoctrination?

IndoctrinationBasicila of San Marco, Venice, Italy, February 2011,
Nikon D5000, 35mm focal length equiv. 60mm, exposure 1/33 sec @ f5.3, ISO 1600, no flash, exposure bias -1/3
 © Steven Crisp [Click on the photo to enlarge]

This is a very captivating painting right at the entrance to San Marco's Basilica in Venice.  A young child being taught about his lord, Jesus Christ.  And certainly it represents a story retold around the world, with differing messages depending on the faith.

Is this religious education fundamentally different from that taught in the Madrasahs in Pakistan or Afghanistan?  Certainly the tenants of the faith differ, but is the approach fundamentally different?

Is one child's religious education another's indoctrination?  Can those words be used interchangeably, and is that OK with you?

Personally, this is an area I struggle with.  Young minds are so impressionable.  They can be shaped and sculpted to believe anything their authority figures teach.  And later "deprogamming" those beliefs can take enormous effort.  

And what determines whether the child attends Sunday school, Hebrew school, or a Madrasah?  Plain and simple -- geography (by and large).  Is that the right basis for which creed is accepted as truth?

This gives me reason for great pause, and is something to reflect upon I think.

  • Donation:  To our server at breakfast in our hotel.  Tips are not expected, but it seemed the appropriate thing to do.  And he seemed happy ;-)
  • Exercise:  One last day roaming the back allies and canals of Venice (TBD mins).  Just Carol and me -- very lovely.


Boswell said...

OKAY, now I'm really starting to wonder... what happened to you?!?!

tokyojoe said...

is the difference between education and indoctrination significant enough to be bothered with? you have to rid yourself of both eventually, if you want freedom.
(in my opinion)

Let me ask you this: if someone says, "Love me and you will see my beauty" how does that sound?

I know that meaning of this question above is hard to get at, but if you think about it a while...

Take care my friend.

Anonymous said...

Decoding the Language of God: Can a Scientist Really Be a Believer? - George Cunningham. You mentioned Sam Harris' book earlier. This is another one that challenges what one thinks. I just finished. Hope HI is good and why the stoppage on the blog?

Anonymous said...

IN response to tokyojoe my interpretation of what you're getting at is that through the lens-less look of love everything is beautiful, there is no judgement about what's right and wrong and beauty lies in the essence of everything... but at the same time I think Steven has a valid point, children have moldable minds and a certain amount of care should be taken to preserve and nurture the natural wonder and nonjudgmental nature of the innocent mind. In response to Scotty, it is appropriate to challenge what one thinks, but how about challenging thinking itself.

Steven Crisp said...

Boswell, thanks for your concern. Holding my breath that FaD and RoB can be kept up-to-date.

Tokyojoe, so happy to hear you are OK. Scary stuff over there ... please let me know where you are. As for your comment, I don't think it sounds so good. Sounds like conditional love or co-dependency to me. I would hope I could see your beauty whether I love you or hate you. That would be really powerful and beautiful.

Scotty, you kicked me in the butt so I have started posting again. Thanks for that. As for your book, I have not read it, but see no reason why a scientist cannot be a believer, and many famous ones have been. That said, I also don't think you have to be a scientist to be a non-believer. I only think you have to examine your deeply-held beliefs very carefully.

And Anon, thanks for keeping the conversation going. I agree with you that it is worthwhile to challenge thinking itself. At some point, we must get to the level of experience and that pesky thing called deep 'knowing'.

Thanks to you all for your provocative comments.