Monday, November 29, 2010

Debate/Discussion with Baruch Pelta I

Baruch Pelta invited me to a discussion of the issue of whether parents should indoctrinate their children with an Orthodox religious identity. The idea for this discussion came out of a post of mine in defense of parents raising their children with a religious identity. Our intention is to do this via video. Baruch made the first video before Thanksgiving. Here is my video; I am sorry for the delay.

If there is one thing I wish to come out of this discussion is that it be conducted in a respectful manner. So feel free to comment on my video and please watch and comment on Baruch's original video and what I hope will be many future videos, but I ask you to respect Baruch as someone whose opinion deserves to be heard and considered.  


Baruch Pelta said...

Thanks for the heads-up. Will reply tomorrow.

Abacaxi Mamao said...

Hmmm... I just watched his initial blog post and I don't think his main point was about science (Occam's razor, etc.) at all.

I think his main point was that Orthodox Judaism is closed to free exploration of ideas, and it stifles creativity and intellectual curiosity, and that's why it's wrong to raise children in that tradition--because it stifles them and cuts them off when they are young. His mention of science at the beginning (admittedly long-winded) was just to show a contrast with Orthodoxy: in science you investigate and draw conclusions based on evidence, whatever that evidence turns out to be, and in Orthodoxy, you don't draw conclusions based on evidence. There are things that you can't think or say just because it's "not Orthodox."

So I think he would conclude that any parent who knows that Orthodoxy is just one of many options out there should not raise their children within the Orthodox system for those reasons.

I also think that he was specifically talking about the Orthodox education system, which he, well, mentions specifically, and less about what parents teach their children at home. That is, he thinks the Orthodox education system is stifling and closed off.

What was YOUR opinion on whether children should be "indoctrinated into the Orthodox system"? I heard that you didn't like his framing, and I heard the three things that you were interested in (whether someone Orthodox should raise their kids as non-Orthodox; whether someone who isn't Jewish at all should raise their kids as Orthodox Jews; and whether the government should have any role in the matter), but I didn't hear an actual opinion from you.

Izgad said...

If Baruch wishes to debate the implications of the scientific method and Occam’s razor I am willing to do so. I see no reason, though, to discuss it specifically within the context of raising children. As to my opinion on the matter I shall leave it to future postings. (Hint; it involves C. S. Lewis.) I leave it to Baruch to decide how this debate shall proceed.

Clarissa said...

All I can say is that I'm beyond happy that my parents only "found religion" after I became an adult. It is so liberating not to have any religious upbringing. I look at my religious students and can't help but feel sorry for how fettered they are by their religious conditioning.