44 stone lions wrote:Why then does society judge children to be mature, intelligent or responsible enough to understand and consensually accept a particular theology?
Because society doesn't typically consider theology to be something that needs to be consented to; and because for most people, it's far too ingrained into their lives to be considered something that can be separated and "made illegal" in any practical way. For example, my parents are Catholic; I was raised
Catholic because our family lived
Catholic. It wasn't something that they could compartmentalize and separate from their daily lives. Time was set aside on Sundays to go to church, sure, but that it wasn't and isn't limited to that. It defined how we acted towards one another, and towards other people.
And as for what that meant... basically, be good people. Treat others how you'd like to be treated.
Which is often equally or more complicated and difficult to understand then other things that we ban them from doing and is also capable of having consequences that are just as serious.
What consequences? Being honest? Being charitable? Treating other people with dignity and respect?
Sure, there are some believers out there who do stupid things in the names of their religion; sometimes horrible things. But there are also believers - far more, I would argue - who do good things. And far, far more than that that do very little good or bad that can be traced to their religion.
Rather than prohibit religion, why not prohibit the horrible things
? That way, you're addressing the behavior of the tiny subset of religious people who actually do horrible things
, and you're leaving the rest of us alone?
So why not make them wait until they are 18 or 21 and are fully capable of choosing a religion for themselves or not choosing one at all?
Because, as I've said before, for most people it's not something that you can just carve out of your life and set aside. Even for people who aren't particularly strict in their observance of their religion - which is probably most people - it tends to have an influence, in varying degrees, on who they are and how they live. Even if it was
a good idea, there is simply no practical way to prohibit that.
I have friends who drifted away from the church until they had kids of their own, and then went back because they wanted their kids to grow up with what they grew up with. The sense of community. The morals. The tradition. Because they saw it as something that was positive in their life, and wanted their kids to have that thing. It strikes me as ridiculous to even suggest that they not be allowed to do that, because of vague consequences that may or may not even apply to them.