Are the concepts of Religion and God absolutely necessary? I would say yes and being an atheist myself, this does sound ridiculous and ironic. I was born into a Hindu family, and was brought up as a devout Hindu, but later on in life I grew up into an inquisitive individual who favors logic over dogma. Hence now I am an agnostic and to a certain extent can also be called an atheist. This was not an overnight realization and it happened over time and it was a gradual transition that developed along with my ability value reason, rationality and evidence, also because I could entertain a strain of thought without having to accept it. I’ve reached point where my mind is open, mature and has developed enough to accommodate such ideas. As I said this process took time, now I understand the concepts of morality, equality and freedom as an intrinsic part of the human experience. Hence I no longer need a god to justify my set of values or beliefs, to be precise, I grew out of religion and god; but, consider an infant who has just started to experience the world around him, his mind is not mature enough to entertain such elaborate ideas that root its validity on evidence and rational argument. Can you have a rational discussion with and infant who has just learned to talk and understand? The set of values that you teach him, wouldn’t it have a greater effect if it had an illusion of divinity, so that he is persuaded into following them till the point where he could develop a mind fertile enough to accommodate for the validity of rational argument and evidence?
We have all observed kids, and they tend to do the things that they are asked not to do when they feel that they are not being watched. Wouldn’t the illusion of an all knowing power watching over them convince them to observe the set of moral values acceptable by the society? Wouldn’t the concept of Religion and God be of some use to us in that early point of development to help us keep an under developed mind in check as its being used from the early ages?
This was just a spark that originated in my mind. I myself have my doubts about this premise, and would love criticism on it. If you don’t agree that this is a valid argument, I just have one single question to you that has been plaguing me for quite some while now. Is atheism something that can be taught to a kid or an infant? If so, how do you do it?