Some Thoughts on Indoctrination

November 2, 2015 at 12:30 am | Posted in divisions in society, Philosophy, Politics, Religion | 8 Comments
Tags: , , , ,

monday-memoir-badge

This may not be strictly memoir, but it is related to issues that writing my memoir articles is throwing up.

After I had written last Monday’s post about the things I learned as a Catholic child. I went through it and added the photos – including one of the Sacred Heart statue that sat in Mum & Dad’s home for 72 years.

The statue made me feel somewhat nostalgic, as did the photos of the holy cards I used. But my overall feeling after having written and thought through those things I learned as a child was a mixture of sadness and anger. Anger at what I was brainwashed into, anger and sadness at both what I lost as a thinking person, and at how my life has been blighted in some ways by the doctrines I believed were true when I was a child.

There were other feelings there too; anxiety and foreboding, but also an awareness and understanding of one of the problems we face in today’s local and international turbulence. Looking back at how we were taught Catholic dogma, kept within the confines of that one religion, and with no comprehension of what the real world was like, certainly makes me much more able to understand now how young people can be brainwashed by authorities into believing pretty well anything.

They are taught, and can come to deeply believe, that theirs is the only, the one true religion. That theirs is the only system that will save them and the world. That all those who don’t believe as they do wish to destroy them. And, therefore, that those ‘others’ must be destroyed before they themselves are destroyed.

The younger and more isolated they are from the outside world and its pluralist nature, the more easily children – and even adults – can be controlled, even to the point where they will freely give up their lives for the cause.

I look at how I believed, as a child, that I would have given my life for my faith if called upon to do so. I’d been taught that martyrs would be automatically granted entry to Heaven. And that is what the teachings of some other radical religious groups are. The fear of dying can be overcome by the intense belief that Heaven, Paradise, whatever it is called, is there, just waiting for you when you give this earthly life for the cause.

I am not doing research here; I am just looking at my own life then and now, reflecting upon it and seeing what could have been had the Catholic Church in the 1950s and 1960s been as militant as it used to be only a few hundred years ago. As militant as some factions are today. And it is not just religious beliefs that can be this way.

What about other belief systems – political parties and governments; belief in racial superiority and inferiority; the ‘them’ and ‘us’ of any situation that human beings find themselves in? Look at what has happened in history – Communism, the Nazis, the KKK, and what is happening today in North Korea and the Middle East, among others.

This polarisation will continue for a long time yet – perhaps for millennia if we survive that long. Because, unless our brains and bodies evolve from the base animal instinct of fighting for survival against any group we perceive to be different, to an instinct that is more co-operative and supportive, I believe we will always see Them and Us.

But evolution takes time. So our species may have killed itself off – along with the rest of the natural world – before we manage to get to that stage of development. I only wish it could be different

Isn’t it interesting how small things, like remembering one’s childhood, can provoke deeper thought – even upon the essence of mankind and our future of the world!

Are these thoughts familiar to you? Do you agree with the deliberate inculcating religious or other beliefs into the minds of young children? Please play nice! J

(c) Linda Visman

Advertisements

8 Comments »

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI

  1. And the ignorant fear the unknown,
    those who have knowledge know that changes can be made.
    Religions tend to keep their followers in ignorance so they
    can keep them suppressed and in fear of change.
    The egos of the leadership ( including the US and Russian presidents )
    lead them to believe that they can control the future,
    manipulate the changes to be made and
    when reality sets in, chaos prevails.
    Stupid is unable to learn, ignorance is not yet having learned,
    are we that stupid ???
    Love, hugs and blessings… ME

  2. This is a hugely important post, Linda, and I commend you for writing it. I’m with you.

  3. Yes it is the fault – the Achilles heel, I suppose – of the human race. Somebody once had the brilliant idea that we could excuse ourselves responsibility by handing our own shortcomings off to a ‘god’. That we were somehow absolved the consequences of our actions thereby. I absolutely agree with what you say, and personally believe religion is the world’s greatest and most abiding evil It leads us into the path of self-righteousness, and that is a dangerous road to take.

    • Yes, Frederick, religion – and polit5ics too – can lead us to an abrogation of all responsibility for our own actions. But for those with a moral conscience, it can also lead us to intense feelings of guilt and despair that we will ever reach the perfection demanded of us. Both are extremely destructive, whether in a social and personal sense.

  4. I appreciate this post, Linda. It’s part of getting older and gaining perspective that makes us ponder these questions, at least for me it is. I have met people of all faiths and no faith who exemplify the best in humanity: compassion, kindness, forgiveness, gratitude and so many other qualities that I aspire to. Sadly, faith groups are subject to the foibles of other human-run institutions. Fear is insidious and seems to look for differences rather than for common ground. I too hope that humanity will evolve beyond the depth of fear that currently seems intent on destruction. Thanks for the thought-provoking post :-).

    • Many thanks for your comment. 🙂
      You are so right about the goodness of many people regardless of faith or lack of it. I believe it is their moral conscience that drives them, not religion.
      And yes, the use of fear to create division is so apparent in our world, and so destructive.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Blog at WordPress.com.
Entries and comments feeds.

roughwighting

Life in a flash - a weekly blog on daily living

Half Baked In Paradise

Searching, settling, sauteeing and spritzing

The Curry Apple Orchard

A blog designed to remember the past and celebrate the present.

barsetshirediaries

A site for the Barsetshire Diaries Books and others

Cee's Photography

Learning and teaching the art of composition.

Leigh Warren :: Country Music Outlaw

The ramblings of Leigh Warren about himself, country music and maybe... well who knows

Diane Tibert

~ writer - editor - publisher ~

Looking Back

With Mick Roberts. Est. Online 2000

Explore China

Four weeks of flying, cycling, hiking, cruising, eating and exploring

Repurposed Genealogy

Explore What's Possible

Appalachian Ink ~ Home of Anna Wess (and Granny)

Home of Anna Wess, Writer & Ghost Chaser

Myths of the Mirror

Life is make believe, fantasy given form

Writing on the Pages of Life

Exploring, creating and celebrating the writing life

ME and the Boss

Motivation and life......lived and loved one day at a time.

QP and Eye

Easy Going Introvert Blogs Here

Our Rumbling Ocean

Every day brings new adventures

Frederick Anderson

The Journey Home

Victoria Norton

Short stories, poems, and comments on life.

%d bloggers like this: