Children and self-esteem / Emotional investment
Cyberspace Rendezvous joins Raving Atheist's enemies list by giving us a great quote from Nathaniel Branden about religious education and how it is the enemy of self-esteem. An extract :
“If children are told, ‘If you have value it is not because of anything you have done or could ever do, it is only because God loves you’ -
“If children are told, ‘Submission to what you cannot understand is the beginning of morality’ -
“If children are instructed, ‘Do not be “willful”, self-assertiveness is the sin of pride’ -
“If children are instructed, ‘Never think that you belong to yourself’ -
“If children are informed, ‘In any clash between your judgement and that of your religious authorities, it is your authorities you must believe’, -
“If children are informed, ‘Self-sacrifice is the foremost virtue and the noblest duty’ -
“- then consider what will be the likely consequences for the practice of living consciously, or the practice of self-assertiveness, or any of the other pillars of healthy self-esteem.”
John Loftus has some ideas on why Christians fear doubt. He lists three reasons :
1) Fear of being wrong about something they have invested so much time and money trying to live it and defend.
2) Fear of Hell.
3) Fear of the social consequences.
Even if most Christians recognize the simple truth of materialism when you tell them, they have no incentive to admit it, and plenty of incentive to deny it. Nevertheless, when you read deconversion stories, it seems clear that this recognition is the first step towards getting rid of religion. It's just such a hard job to undo a lifetime of brainwashing...