@KMsusan wrote:Knightmare wrote:Hmm....
I understand your idea, Enigma.
The problem, as I see it, is that everyone has had their thinking steered in one way or another.
The public schools here ( at least the ones that I went to ) were big on making a kid show the work that they did to solve a problem. If that work wasn't done in exactly the way they were told that it should be done, the kid got the problem wrong. I had that happen hundreds of times when I was in school. I would come up with the correct answer, but the way I came up with it wasn't the " correct " way. When it was marked as wrong, I would fight it by asking them why. When they said that I didn't do it the right way, I simply told them that if I didn't do it the right way, I wouldn't have gotten the correct answer. lol
The same kind of thing applies to children of parents of faith. The parents may not flat out tell the child that they HAVE to believe in God, but they do try to steer the way the child thinks about such things. Parents want to do what they feel is right for their child. In most cases, they feel that what is right for them, is right for the child as well.
I am having a bit of trouble clarifying what I am trying to say, so if it seems a bit muddled, please forgive me...lol
I agree with you totally that everyone has had their thinking steered in one way or another. Many adults who take up a religion 'voluntarily' think they have done it of their own free will. I am not so sure just how much free will we possess. As we tend to be products of our culture we can take on, quite subconsciously, many aspects of our native culture.
'Force' or 'coercion,' therefore, on someone's beliefs or outlook can be achieved very indirectly.
Say for example, that a certain society bans Christianity but allows Islam to flourish, or censors certain reading materials. They may not be forcing anyone to adhere to Islam but they simply take any alternative options away. Therefore, if someone in that society does decide take up a religion, it would very likely be Islam since that might be the only option open to them. This is coercion by stealth, surely. People might think they have free will, but in fact their actions and beliefs are being manipulated without their realising it.
As to your problem at school, I can see now why Einstein dropped out. They probably would have taken away his ability to think.
Yeah, i see your point re education and upbringing. I guess parents try to 'instill their values' so it were into their children. This may include, religious belief, morals, prejudice, inclusive of falsehoods and truths (or agreed truths). All of this along with the 'local culture' (their immediate social/cultural environment) would shape the outcome. The question of free will (as Susan put it) does become very subjective and perhaps not freewill at all.
If the person spends time outside their local environment they may perhaps see a different picture if they have the ability to reflect on what they know to be true (or accepted truth).
This brings me back to 'critical thinking'. People can have devout faith (devoid of critical thinking) and yet have very good critical thinking skills. I was once presented by an argument from Chucky on the fact that science promotes critical thinking etc etc and that stops people from making 'big mistakes' like trusting a used car sales man (this was the example he gave). I returned the argument explaining that i know people that are very shrewd business people (would never get shafted by a used car sales man because they would not believe what he says - i.e. are critical of him) yet believe what their astrologer or palm reader tells them! LOL....
This brings me to the point that critical thinking and religion are mutually exclusive. Its like religious belief has 'special place' in some peoples minds (certainly not all) and well how does this special place get 'created'. Perhaps it is upbringing/nurture....??? or perhaps something entirely different....