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77
107
Yes, because... No, because...
Debate Score:184
Arguments:165
Total Votes:209
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 Yes, because... (65)
 
 No, because... (81)

Debate Creator

Mack(310) pic



Is religious belief a choice?

Religious people often speak about choosing to accept God into one's heart, but is this really a choice?  Is whether or not someone believes dependent on things they can't help, like the way their brain is built, the environment they were brought up in,knowledge, or indoctrination, or is there an element of choice?  This could also extend to a free will debate, if your mind is set to work a certain way, then you are set to respond to things a certain way, you have no say in the mind you are born with, so perhaps you have no free will, just an illusion.

If the correct answer is no, belief is not a choice, then surely this has ramifications for certain things...  If there is a God, surely he couldn't blame atheists for not believing in him?

Edit: I didn't intend for this to be an argument about indoctrination, I meant for it to be about free will in the way that Galen Strawson theorizes.  Your mind is set a certain way, so perhaps your beliefs (and actions) are too, only being affected by other circumstances you cannot control.

Yes, because...

Side Score: 77
VS.

No, because...

Side Score: 107
2 points

It is more a choice than beyond your choice. Although it is true that parents and society do their brainwashing to promote certain beliefs the fact that some individuals opt out or choose something else is evidence real choice is still involved.

Personally, I think most people aren't so much choosing yes/no I'll hold a particular believe as they are choosing in which ways do they want to shake up their world. Because let's face it, the easiest thing to do in life is to go along with the flow. The hardest thing is to make a change against the norm, whether that is changing religion, moving far away, marrying someone different then you're expected, getting an abortion, taking an unusual job, etc. When people surrender to the socialization to belong to a particular religion it doesn't always mean they're all in, it also can just mean it wasn't a priority for them to challenge that which they can easily just pay lip service to. So ironically, not addressing their religion is in and of itself a choice. Why fight with your parents (or with religious conservatives on this site) when you can just not talk about it, and meanwhile exercise your choice in some other way more important to yourself.

Side: Yes, because...
Mack(310) Disputed
1 point

A well put argument.

I can see an argument here for it being a choice as to whether or not you research the facts about religion, as you said "Not addressing their religion is in and of itself a choice," but that's not really a choice in belief.

After choosing to research religion, and seeing the arguments, do you think one has a choice as to whether or not to accept the arguments, or do you think that the function of their brain at the time, in response to the arguments, is out of their control, and whether or not they find the arguments convincing enough to change their beliefs is therefore out of their hands, and not a choice?

Look at Galen Strawson's argument against free will if my point doesn't make sense.

Side: No, because...
Grenache(5521) Clarified
2 points

It makes sense. And in fact the answer for whether or not it's free will may depend in part on each individual: whether their nature tends toward independence or compliance, their level of education and/or of intelligence, the random luck of which religion they were most familiar with to start with, etc.

Side: Yes, because...
1 point

If it "isn't a choice", then atheism is incorrect. But we knew it was incorrect already.*

Side: Yes, because...
Mack(310) Disputed
2 points

If it isn't a choice then why does it follow that atheism is incorrect?

Side: No, because...
1 point

As always, the anti Christian bigots swarm to any debate that gives them a forum to spew their anger and hatred. It's a reunion of bigoted judgmental hatemongers.

So why not tell us all why you have developed such hatred? Some so called Christian must have tortured you to develope such hate?

Now I want you to always blame Christianity for the actions of a few false Christians. Show us all the logic of bigots. Remember, all Black people are bad because of the color of their skin. Remember, all Christians are bad because of their beliefs.

You speak of people growing up brainwashed and having no choice to what they believe?

So tell us all, do you have a choice in your hatred towards Christians? Or were you brainwashed into it.

It matters not because people have the ability to change and replace their hatred with love and forgiveness.

It's up to you if you want to choose God's forgiveness, or the world's insecure hate.

It's all a choice. It's a choice such as supporting the killing of viable unborn babies when you vote for the Democrat Party, and it's a choice where you spend eternity.

Choose wisely.

Side: Yes, because...
Mack(310) Disputed
1 point

I'm not sure if you're speaking to me, but I'll act as of you are.

This debate was never meant to be about brainwashing/indoctrination, at least not as a main focus. The question about choice is this (adapted from the words of Galen Strawson):

You believe what you believe, in any given situation, because of the way you are.

To be ultimately responsible for what you believe, you have to be ultimately responsible for the way you are — at least in certain crucial mental respects.

But you cannot be ultimately responsible for the way you are in any respect at all.

So you cannot be ultimately responsible for what you believe.

In other words, belief is not a choice.

If brainwashing was the only factor I would see belief as a choice, but brainwashing isn't the only factor, and it certainly isn't always present.

If you weren't addressing me, you might have a fair point with regards what some people are saying about indoctrination.

Side: No, because...
jeffreyone(1137) Disputed Banned
1 point

This debate was never meant to be about brainwashing/indoctrination,

There are atheists even on this site who admit were brought up as atheist.

There is an irish father on this site who trains his kids in atheistic manner(not 100% for his religiois wife sake) and makes his children believe in the unproven evolution theory as fact

So don't come here being all hypocrite. Like you are not aware of that.

Atheism indoctrinates so why are you attacking religion only.

Side: Yes, because...
FromWithin(5436) Disputed Banned
1 point

As usual, never address the points that make your argument look stupid.

I asked what created your bigotry against Christians? Was it a choice to be so judgmental?

Were you abused as a child, were you raised by strict parents? Did you have a choice for being so insecure with people who shine a light on your inhumnity towards others such as with abortion.

Side: Yes, because...
1 point

It's a choice. Perhaps as a child it may not be but as one grows and gains independent thinking it becomes a choice. If they choose to stay with it because that's what is expected, that's a choice. If they choose to stay with it because they believe in it, that's a choice. If they choose to research others and practice others or leave what belief they grew up with all together, that's a choice.

Side: Yes, because...
Mack(310) Disputed
1 point

"If they choose to stay with it because they believe in it, that's a choice"

But that's the same thing... do they choose whether to believe in it, or does belief just happen because of the way their brain is built, and what that brain has to work with?

You almost make a convincing argument, but it seems a bit circular, as you begin by saying that they choose with "If they choose..." being repeated.

Side: No, because...
Mint_tea(2488) Disputed
1 point

does belief just happen because of the way their brain is built, and what that brain has to work with?

Growing up, they may not have a choice, it may be ingrained by their family and the lifestyle they have. But as they get older and move into adulthood a different world is open to them. They get their independence and what they do after that is their choice. There are enough people who have questioned the teachings of their families particular faith to where it's not an oddity that they move to either a different belief or drop their belief all together.

Them choosing to stay within the teachings of their initial religion is their choice, I stand by the statement because ultimately what they do as an adult, with their freedoms and their access to information, is up to them.

Side: Yes, because...

Of course it's a choice, just like believing in Santa Clause and the Easter Bunny.

Side: Yes, because...
Mack(310) Disputed
1 point

How is believing in Santa Clause or the Easter Bunny a choice?

Side: No, because...
HighFalutin(2418) Clarified
1 point

Because you can choose to believe, or not.

-----------------------------------------------

Side: Yes, because...
1 point

It is a choice but your choice also varies on how you were brought up. For example, you are not forced to believe in a specific religion even if you were forced to be part of it. You can control how you feel about different religions therefore it is a choice.

Side: Yes, because...
Mack(310) Disputed
1 point

Though you are not forced by anyone to believe in something, doesn't make it a choice. The argument I'm using for why it isn't a choice is related to one about free will, Dermot explained this better than I could elsewhere in the debate, so I'll just quote what he said, which he may have gotten elsewhere:

"The Philosopher Galen Strawson puts together a basic argument as to why we do not have free will .......

You do what you do, in any given situation, because of the way you are.

To be ultimately responsible for what you do, you have to be ultimately responsible for the way you are — at least in certain crucial mental respects.

But you cannot be ultimately responsible for the way you are in any respect at all.

So you cannot be ultimately responsible for what you do."

(Back to me talking now) It follows then that you cannot be ultimately responsible for what you believe. This is, for me anyways, the crux of the question.

You said: "You can control how you feel about different religions therefore it is a choice."

I'm not entirely sure that one does have control over their emotions, and even then, you could feel good about a religion - I like Buddhism (not technically a religion) - but that doesn't mean I'm convinced by it. I can't control the standards that my brain holds for evidence for religion being correct, so I can't control what convinces me, and therefore can't control what I believe.

Side: No, because...
Quantumhead(850) Disputed
1 point

Dermot explained this better than I could elsewhere in the debate

Dermot is less intelligent than a soggy bag of McChicken Nuggets, so please feel free to plagiarise his opinion to prove how wrong you are.

The Philosopher Galen Strawson puts together a basic argument as to why we do not have free will .......

We are specifically debating whether religious belief is a choice. If you want to expand the parameters of the debate to whether we have free will then please start a debate called: "Do we have free will?" Free will is the dominant philosophical position, so for the purpose of this specific debate we should assume it to be real.

You do what you do, in any given situation, because of the way you are.

This is laughable pseudo-intellectual bullshit. It can be disproved immediately and with ease.

Strawson's sentence can logically only apply to decisions in which the input variables are known to the participant and in which the participant holds a bias towards them (i.e. Do I want steak or sprouts for dinner?). When the input variables are unknown to the participant, and/or when there is no bias towards them (i.e. odd or even, Neptune or Pluto, black or dark) then his theory obviously cannot apply. If someone has no direct experience of the choices then it cannot be said "the way they are" causes them to pick a certain choice. Therefore, the participant must necessarily make a decision.

Furthermore, even when the input variables are known and there is bias, it still doesn't preclude a participant from choosing the opposite of their bias. If this were not true then there would be no such thing as a surprise decision.

In sum, you are wrong and what you are arguing is logically indefensible. Have a nice evening.

Side: Yes, because...
1 point

You choose who you worship and how you follow your God of choice....................................................

Side: Yes, because...
1 point

I believe that religious belief is a choice, and it should be a choice. While we may be born into a particular religion due to our parents, society should allow us to choose what religion we want to be a part of after we have become a legal adult. This is because as a existential deist, I believe that we make our own path in life. While our environment and parents shape us into who we are as an adult, it is ultimately up to us to decide who we are as an individual.

While some would argue that being a part of a religion is not a choice, that is against the very foundation of the 1st amendment. Which is freedom of expression. I believe that if America is truly a land of rugged individualism, we should allow religion to be a choice.

Side: Yes, because...
1 point

Yes its a Choice.... If its Not a choice whats the purpose of Believing in God.... Any ways What is Religion... Religion Divides, Separate People, Family, Nations, Tongues... But the Love Of God Draw all man Correct Yes.... Thats Why Religion Destroys.... But The love Of God Makes Us Choose Him... And The Love That God Showed us was Pure Religion the Love..... And God Love was His Son JESUS thats Why its Not Hard to let the World Go.... Choose Today whom you gonna Serve... Cant serve to masters.... Only one

Side: Yes, because...

It should be a choice, whether one wants to believe in something or not, there have been wars in the past with religious groups trying to impose their ideologies on people, but now we have become much more tolerant I think, thanks to a more organised form of governance..

now to really get to the question, we as we grow up from children to adults, have been exposed to a certain kind of religious belief system/ non- religious belief system, that really narrows down things for the rest of our life. For people, who choose to ignore it, not take it very seriously, would not ponder upon the question and would not mind continuing the belief just because they've been exposed to it previously.

There are other people who are too emotionally attached to the belief to actually question it, which makes them defend their belief system from an emotional bias irrespective of what arguments are made against the system. Finally, who actually question and are able see something without any bias of any sort, are the ones who can see it to be a choice.

It's a choice, at the end of the day, it's people who make it seem that it isn't, but that doesn't stop anyone from changing their beliefs.

Side: Yes, because...
Quantumhead(850) Disputed
1 point

there have been wars in the past with religious groups trying to impose their ideologies on people, but now we have become much more tolerant I think, thanks to a more organised form of governance..

Interesting analysis. What are your thoughts on this:-

George Bush: 'God told me to end the tyranny in Iraq'

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2005/oct/07/iraq.usa

It's a choice, at the end of the day, it's people who make it seem that it isn't, but that doesn't stop anyone from changing their beliefs.

I don't believe it is quite that simple. You can't simply expect a person who has been brainwashed to make a choice. It's a vicious circle, because what these people already believe stops them from changing their beliefs. In fairness however, I don't think we can generalise one way or another. Some people can and do overcome indoctrination, while others never do.

Side: No, because...
1 point

there have been wars in the past with religious groups trying to impose their ideologies on people, but now we have become much more tolerant I think, thanks to a more organised form of governance..

by organised form of government, I am referring to what was present in the past and what is present today, sure there are wars even today but the "law" stops me from killing another person just because he/she's of a different religion, I was referring to such advances..

I don't believe it is quite that simple. You can't simply expect a person who has been brainwashed to make a choice. It's a vicious circle, because what these people already believe stops them from changing their beliefs. In fairness however, I don't think we can generalise one way or another. Some people can and do overcome indoctrination, while others never do.

A belief is something we believe in, and just because one doesn't want to change their belief, doesn't mean they can't, that is, it is a property of a belief to be optional, which inherently is present.

However, as you said, there will be people who are brainwashed to the extent that it becomes a belief that what they believe in, is perfectly correct under all circumstances, but there are people who change religious beliefs. So can I generalize for decisions made by people? no, can I make a statement that's based on a property of believing? yes.

but that doesn't stop anyone from changing their beliefs.

what I meant there was, people can choose to change provided they want to, if they don't want to, they won't.

Side: Yes, because...
3 points

For religious belief to work it needs access to immature minds .

The majority of believers come to belief through indoctrination which begins from infancy when the child is taken to the local church , temple , mosque and the process begins .

The child's family ,friends and society are traditionally of the same belief which makes the process so successful .

Have you ever heard a young child ask about god or religion ?

The questions are easily answered by the believer and the child's concerns addressed and the child reassured .

Indoctrination relies on getting children early before they have developed a BS detector otherwise it won't work .

Believers of course will deny this and they dislike the term indoctrination , they will claim everyone is indoctrinated in one way or another which is nonsense as the difference is that traditionally the indoctrinated person is expected not to question or examine critically the doctrine they have learned .

Regards religion and god if one was not introduced to religious thinking and the god concept most would reject it for the nonsense it is , imagine an adult reading the bible for the first time and hearing of resurrected humans , talking animals , miracle working messiahs etc ,etc .

Religion relies on indoctrination it cannot work without it ,

If religion was not through indoctrination and cultural influence how come people in Muslim countries are Muslim and people in Christian countries are Christian choice does not come into it .

Side: No, because...
1 point

Actually, I've never in real life heard a young child ask about religion, perhaps that is a result of being taught to accept it without question, or that I just don't know a lot of young kids. I asked my young sister a while ago if she believed in God and she said "I don't know" and didn't seem remotely interested. Not sure what to make of that.

I agree that without it being taught at a young age, religion would probably die. I've never heard a religious person give a satisfactory answer to your last point, about place of birth & religion, I think it is one of the best arguments against religion.

I wasn't actually intending to make this debate about indoctrination very much, although that is interesting, rather whether people have choice as to the way their brains process available information to form a belief, specifically about religion. I explain this in my first counter argument to quantumhead up above.

Side: No, because...
3 points

That's interesting , I have heard kids ask god questions especially as they get a bit older and they start to ask questions about almost anything .

There is no valid argument against the birth and religion argument , if there is I've yet to hear it .

The reason I brought up indoctrination is because choice does not come into it ; the reason I eventually rejected religion is because of exposure to different viewpoints on the whole god /religion question I found the arguments compelling and this changed my mind as I couldn't construct any rational arguments against them .

So do you think not think you made a choice as in accepting the validity of new information and finding it convincing ?

Side: No, because...
Rdread2425(32) Disputed
1 point

Ask Yourself what is Religion.... Pure Religion is Being like Jesus.... James-1:27- Pure Religion and Undefiled Before God and The Father Is this, To visit the Fatherless and widows in their Affliction, and to keep Himself unspotted from the world.... Not having nothing to Do with Evil.... And we are not stupid to Good Nor Evil.... .... If a Man seemeth to be Religious and Bridleth not his tongue... And Decieve His own heart this man religion is (Vain) Meaning How he Serve God Is Nothing....

Side: Yes, because...
Jace(4528) Disputed
0 points

Religious belief is (often and largely) a consequence of indoctrination. But morality, gender, race, politic, etc. are also strongly correlated with upbringing, family, and culture. That's indoctrination too, unless you can identify some significant difference.

Side: Yes, because...
Dermot(3644) Disputed
3 points

Religious belief is the result of Indoctrination.

Definition of indoctrination....

indoctrination

ɪnˌdɒktrɪˈneɪʃ(ə)n/

noun

the process of teaching a person or group to accept a set of beliefs uncritically.

"I would never subject children to religious indoctrination"

The big difference in indoctrination is one is not been thought how to think but what to think uncritically

Side: No, because...
jeffreyone(1137) Disputed Banned
0 points

For religious belief to work it needs access to immature minds .

Like you do to your kids with atheism?

What about people who met and accepted certain religions only in adulthood.

It include atheists, scientists at the end results of a research in an attempt to prove the opposite, etc.

you see also. I am not the only one pointing out the level of your intelligence.

Latest is Quantunhead, following justtruth, Amarel, Me, Bront, Nowasaint, etc. even a gang from last three years about your acclamation of mensa membership.

Side: Yes, because...
Dermot(3644) Disputed
4 points

Like I do with my kids ? What do you base that on ?

I didn't say all people ?

Your stupidity was never in doubt ; regards getting a gang to attack me go ahead it's done all the time by bullies on here like you who cannot debate .

You and others like the cowards you are have set up debates to attack me before so if you wish avoid debating again go and set another up .

Regards membership of Mensa and various degrees you get very upset at anyone who professes to have a degree , whys that ?

Your latest college exams I'm guessing had you fail miserably and you're looking for a target to vent your rage .

Let's have a look at your idiocy in your own words where you claim women enjoy being raped .........

1 point

Rape no one likes are enjoys to be raped or the thoughts of being raped.

Jeffrey says 👇👇👇

Eh, erm...have you tapped the links?

There are three more...even one where a girl after her first time of being raped, she goes out to dangerous places she suspects she will get raped at. She has encountered several more and been to the hospital severally but yet she keeps doing it. And now she says she needs help to stop.

Hardcore masochistic.

Incidentally your new best buddy Q thinks anyone that believes in Jesus is mentally ill ; you believe in Jesus don't you ? 😳

Side: No, because...
Mack(310) Disputed
3 points

This is supposed to be a debate, not an exercise in attacking each other. If you want to make an actual argument that's fine, but you don't have to make it personal.

Side: No, because...
3 points

Of course it isn't.

Children are brainwashed by their parents, in their places of education and in many instances their peers, not to mention the condescending clergy.

The laws of most countries, but in particular, Muslim nations are influenced to a greater or lesser extent by the superstitious mumbo jumbo of a nation's prevailing religion.

The real problem occurs when people who cannot successfully make the transition from childhood to adulthood and are therefore unable to make a mature, dispassionate appraisal of what was forced into their naive heads as children becomes too high a % of the overall population.

These religious bigots infest every aspect of a nation's everyday life and retard its progress by forming cliques which exist only to favour those of the same persuasion at the expense of 'non-believers' who are very often more capable than their religious countrymen and women.

Side: No, because...
outlaw60(8861) Clarified
2 points

I will just have a Barley Pop and let you carry on LOL !!!!!!!!!!!!

Side: Yes, because...
Antrim(998) Clarified
4 points

Nothing beats an ice cold Barley Pop with a frothy head and condensation glistening on the glass.

Think I'll visit the fridge and pull out a bottle of Isle of Arran Dark.

Side: Yes, because...
Jace(4528) Disputed
0 points

Although most theists were indoctrinated as youth, not all of them were. Do you think religious belief is a choice for those who become religious later in life but who were not raised to be?

Side: No, because...
Antrim(998) Disputed
2 points

Ah ha, the forum's grown up little parasitic leech asks yet another dumb question.

In response I will ask a rhetorical question;- do you think you are capable of expressing an independent view point on any topic?

Side: Yes, because...
3 points

Some people are far more inclined to believe these sorts of things, especially if they are taught at a young age.

I was raised to be Roman-Catholic, but my mom was never very strict about teaching me religion. In addition, I had the internet at my disposal and a love for questioning things. Over time I just fell off the religion wagon (mainly because I was upset god never spoke to me when I prayed. Later on I would realize there are better reasons to be an Atheist than that, at least.)

If the environment supports and encourages the adoption of religion (and praising it to no end) it is highly likely children raised there will be religious. If the environment is more relaxed like the one I was raised where there is room for skepticism, then you get "Atheistic heathens" such as myself.

Side: No, because...
1 point

I would argue no, and the article linked below (though it is biased) supports my argument. I say that people have no choice as to whether or not they accept a religious belief, because they have no choice in the brain that they are born with, or the environment they are raised in etc. ('Nature and nurture')

It could be possible for people to gradually purposefully convince themselves of a religious belief, or lack thereof, but they wouldn't really have any good reason to do so without the belief in the first place, except for maybe social pressure.

Supporting Evidence: Disbelief Is Not a Choice (www.psychologytoday.com)
Side: No, because...
Antrim(998) Clarified
3 points

If you were born in a Muslim country you'll be conditioned to believe in the only ''TRUE FAITH;- Islam.

If you are born in most western nations you'll be indoctrinated into the only ''TRUE FAITH'':-Christianity

If you're born in the Indian sub continent you will be brainwashed into believing in the only ''TRUE FAITH'';HINDUISM, or

the only ''TRUE FAITH'';- BUDDHISM, OR

the only ''TRUE FAITH';-JAINISM OR

the only ''TRUE FAITH'' SIKHISM''.

A shortsighted dimwit could see from a mile off that the religious denomination of people is solely dependent on the where they are born and the predominate faith prevailing in their native land.

Anyone who cannot see this glaring, self evident truth really does need psychiatric help as a matter of extreme urgency.

Side: Yes, because...
Jace(4528) Disputed
0 points

This is equally true of moral, political, etc. beliefs. Do people also need psychiatric help for these things as a matter of extreme urgency?

Side: Yes, because...
Quantumhead(850) Disputed
0 points

A shortsighted dimwit could see from a mile off that the religious denomination of people is solely dependent on the where they are born

If that were true there would be no American Muslims, no Iranian Jews and no Indian Christians. I'm afraid your failure to note this implies that you are in fact "a shortsighted dimwit". Substitute the word "solely" for "largely" and your conclusion becomes correct.

Side: Yes, because...
Quantumhead(850) Disputed
0 points

I would argue no, and the article linked below (though it is biased) supports my argument. I say that people have no choice as to whether or not they accept a religious belief, because they have no choice in the brain that they are born with, or the environment they are raised in etc. ('Nature and nurture')

Utter nonsense. I accept that religious indoctrination is an extremely powerful tool, but to argue that people have no free will at all to decide what they believe is just utter fucking nonsense. It's demonstrably false. Several of my own personal friends have devout religious parents and became atheists in adulthood. Furthermore, many people switch religions during the course of a lifetime.

I quickly scanned the article you linked and that too, is fucking nonsense. For example:-

After all, though we can choose our religious affiliation, none of us can ultimately choose what we truly believe or don't believe

Immediately he is contradicting himself. I'm free to choose whether I believe Jesus or Mohammed was the prophet, but I am simultaneously not free to choose whether I believe Jesus or Mohammed was the prophet. What the fuck?

Inculcation -- either political, religious, or cultural -- can "lock" a mind into a belief system, that is true. When the belief is critiqued the mind can also become irrational in trying to defend it. However, we are the ones who are ultimately in control of our own minds, not the other way around. The mind has an autopilot, sure, but it can always be taken over by conscious will, and a belief can always be analysed objectively using the law of reason.

Side: Yes, because...
Dermot(3644) Disputed
2 points

So a child taken to church has the choice to use free will and reject religion is to you plausible ?

Most children do not even know why they are in church or have the ability to question what they don't even understand .

Your friends became atheist in adulthood or changed religions so what ?

The vast majority do not follow this trend do they ?

You're totally ignoring the fact that a mere child is rarely given a chance to pick or choose it's religion as it's part of them from infancy where the first introduction to religion and god is presented

Side: No, because...
Mack(310) Disputed
1 point

I think you might have misunderstood my point. Just because it is possible to leave/switch religions, doesn't mean that you are making a choice. For example, take me. I left Christianity and became an atheist, but that was the result of the way my brain processed the information available, not my own choosing, so it wasn't a choice. That's the point, not that it's impossible to change your mind, just that you can't force your mind to change or not to change.

The part were you talk about the article's self contradiction I agree with. I might be guilty of having skim-read a bit, as I didn't notice this the first time. I think that you cannot choose either religious affiliation, or what you truly believe - same thing anyway really, as you said.

"We are the ones who are ultimately in control of our own minds, not the other way around"

I have to disagree with this statement, because "we" and "our minds" our the same thing, and we don't choose what brain we are born with. You can consciously choose to analyse your own beliefs, as you said, but that doesn't mean we can choose to change the result of that analyzing.

Side: No, because...
1 point

I didn't intend for this to be an argument about indoctrination [...]

That might be my fault. I was trying to press people who used indoctrination as an argument against the existence of choice by seeing if they would extend the rationale elsewhere. My suspicion being that most of them won't want to, because they value thinking their beliefs are chosen and/or because they value the belief that the religious are less autonomous than they are. I had hoped that honing in on what actually constitutes indoctrination that its relationship to free will could be better drawn out; it seems that was a rather misplaced hope though...

Side: No, because...
1 point

Don't worry, not your fault. People were focusing on it anyways. It's my fault for not making things clear enough, I probably shouldn't have used the word 'religious' in the title for the debate I wanted.

Side: No, because...
1 point

You say ....on what actually constitutes indoctrination ......

That's the question thus the impasse

indoctrination. ... Indoctrination often refers to religious ideas, when you're talking about a religious environment that doesn't let you question or criticize those beliefs. The Latin word for "teach," doctrina is the root of indoctrinate, and originally that's just what it meant

Side: No, because...
Jace(4528) Disputed
1 point

To my knowledge, there is no officially recognized definition which constrains 'indoctrination' to the religious context. In popular usage, it is regularly used in non-religious contexts and isn't considered incoherent when it is. The etymology of the word is also broad, rather than narrow. There's not actually much question about the meaning of indoctrination.

The frequency of its ascription to religious ideas does not alter its definition. Rather, it is a reflection of the values and prejudices people have in relation to certain classes of ideas (i.e. religious, as opposed to political or ethical). However, the behavioral practices involved in political or ethical learning aren't appreciably different than those involved in religious learning. Therefore, it isn't how learning occurs that's really in contention but rather what is being learned. All learning is indoctrination, but only learning that we find disagreeable is actually called indoctrination.

Exclusionary association between any class of ideas and the concept of indoctrination is an expression of prejudice against that class of ideas and for those ideas which are not similarly associated. Somewhat ironically, the exclusionary association you're making is itself part of an anti-theistic narrative disseminated more through emotive appeal and repetition than rational argument.

Side: Yes, because...
1 point

Yes and no. Yes because we have freewill given from God to make a choice to believe in him or not. And no because, without God you walk through life in darkness and never will be happy, and will suffer in life and death.

Side: No, because...