Is The Potential Good Worth The Potential Evil?

I ran across another story about the death of a child due to overly strict and harsh parenting methods derived from this book. A book that’s linked to the deaths of 2 other children. The ideology of that book is pulled from the bible and Proverbs 22:6 in particular, “Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.”

I’ve been a part of one biblical child rearing class and I didn’t enjoy it at all. Our text advocated spanking frequently and I had some moral reservations that I won’t be delving in to. Even as a believer I had a hard time raising children biblically when the bible has so much bad advice in it. My favorite child rearing verse is Deuteronomy 21:18-21, which says:

18 If someone has a stubborn and rebellious son who does not obey his father and mother and will not listen to them when they discipline him, 19 his father and mother shall take hold of him and bring him to the elders at the gate of his town. 20 They shall say to the elders, “This son of ours is stubborn and rebellious. He will not obey us. He is a glutton and a drunkard.” 21 Then all the men of his town are to stone him to death. You must purge the evil from among you. All Israel will hear of it and be afraid.”

I’ve heard the excuses before that that child was more around the age of 20 as opposed to an actual small child, or that he was such a nuisance that the town was better off, but given all that, as a parenting tool, can we not agree that it’s still barbaric? That the reason we haven’t continued to stone our family to death is because it’s simply bad parenting?

I also find weekly stories about more child deaths due to faith healing. Parents that chose to trust god instead of medicine alone or medicine mixed with god and prayer. A quick google search will give you thousands of stories of preventable deaths due to faith healing.

Undoubtedly, there’s many great things that can come from religion, but I guess my main thought is that while there is much good there is also much bad. So, I have to ask, is the potential good worth the potential evil?

The sad thing is that these people are using the same bible you do to justify their actions. You may call them fundamentalists, but few groups of believers know the bible better than them. How can you fault them for having a more literal interpretation than you? I don’t know if you can. They’re simply doing what their holy book tells them to.

Religion fails to give a leg up in morality or the ability to help our fellow man. What can a religious person do that a non-religious person can’t? Nothing.

I’ll concede that many goods can come from religion, but that the bads are too high a cost. As long as young girls like Hana are being beaten, neglected and mistreated to death I can’t embrace religion as a force for good.


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