At 1/7/13 05:19 PM, jpbear wrote:
Italy has a ridiculously low church attendance rate yet has confirmation rates extremely high (a catholic ritual about age 15 in italy)
Probably about 1 in 50 people at age 18 still attend mass. (at most)
Proof that teaching things at a young age does not come close to brainwashing.
The Maltese side of my family (not the English side) is strongly Christian, my grandparents especially, so I was taught exclusively Christianity when I was young. Like everyone else I also had to go to catechism classes, get baptised, confirmed, go to mass every Sunday, learn Christianity at school from a young age, and all that. At one point in secondary school our religion teacher flat-out said that he thinks atheists are idiots.
But then as I grew older I started disregarding all that I learnt, so clearly the "brainwashing" didn't work on me. Same story for a number of people I know too. I think that thankfully our generation, being exposed to the internet, allows for more open-mindedness (in fact here in Malta, the percentage of elderly people who believe in God is muuuuch larger than the percentage of teenagers who don't).
Still, I think this "brainwashing" does still happen. There's a reason why, taking the example of Malta again, most of it is Christian. As far as I know, when we're kids, we believe what our parents tell us and it gets imprinted into our minds a lot more easily than when we grow up, and I bet that if all the devout Christian teenagers and adults here had been brought up somewhere with different religions, most if not all of them would not be Christian.
...And it's almost needless to say, and it's because parents don't teach their kids to be open-minded about religion, they teach their kids their own religion. So all of a sudden, out of the hundreds of religions out there, your religion or lack thereof would rely very heavily on your upbringing, and not on your own self-conscious decisions.
Yeah I type too much.