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gollygee Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-29-05 08:56 AM
Original message
"Obey"
There's a thread in GD about Focus on the Family and James Dobson and how important it is to these groups that children learn to obey. Obedience is a very big thing, and a lot of churches have parenting seminars and classes specifically designed to teach parents how to make their children obey.

I have a theory that the reason Christian parents want their children to obey so badly is because a child that questions authority is not nearly as likely to become a Christian. Is there any other reason to press for obedience?
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SlackJawedYokel Donating Member (446 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-29-05 01:08 PM
Response to Original message
1. Nope.
Get 'em young and work them hard and you can teach them *anything*.
Didn't BF Skinner say that?
Or was it Pavlov?

Cletus
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immoderate Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-31-05 04:29 PM
Response to Reply #1
4. I think it was Watson.
He conditioned his kid to be afraid of anything with fur.

--IMM
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fshrink Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-31-05 10:03 PM
Response to Reply #4
5. Was not his kid
It was an experiment on a baby (i.e. "Baby Albert"). That was before ethics began to develop in experimentation... Obviously.
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immoderate Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-01-05 01:14 AM
Response to Reply #5
6. Thanks. I remember the notion that Albert was his son was an impression
I had in school. Have you heard that before? Is it just me? It was a long time ago and I'd be amused(?) to know I carried that misinformation for so long.

--IMM
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fshrink Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-05-05 10:01 AM
Response to Reply #6
8. Here's a quote from the original:
"Experimental work had been done so far on only one child, Albert B. This infant was reared almost from birth in a hospital environment; his mother was a wet nurse in the Harriet Lane Home for Invalid Children. Albert's life was normal: he was healthy from birth and one of the best developed youngsters ever brought to the hospital, weighing twenty-one pounds at nine months of age. He was on the whole stolid and unemotional. His stability was one of the principal reasons for using him as a subject in this test. We felt that we could do him relatively little harm by carrying out such experiments as those outlined below."

Some identification going on with you ;> ;) ?
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SlackJawedYokel Donating Member (446 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-05-05 08:02 AM
Response to Reply #1
7. Shoot... I was "remembering" something I'd read about
Skinner but this turned out to be another damned Urban legend.
The one where he put his daughter into a glass box for the first couple years of her life and messed her up psychologically.

Turns out the glass box part was true, but they lived in Minnesota and it was more a climate-controlled crib/playpen than anything else.
He designed it so she didn't have to be swaddled constantly during the winter.
And his daughter was perfectly fine.

Learn something new every day.

Cletus
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trotsky Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-29-05 02:03 PM
Response to Original message
2. Not asking too many questions is very important for most religion.
Or, if you're going to ask the difficult questions, learn to accept "divine mystery" as an answer, because that's all you're going to get.
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fshrink Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-29-05 02:04 PM
Response to Original message
3. Heres' the deal.
There are two reasons why children do things they are asked to do. First, fear. Second respect. When obedience is based on fear, results are obtained only when there is external control. And children are taught, in fact, to find ways to get what they want without being caught, to cheat and, paradoxically, to depend on an external locus of control. Religion is based on fear and tries to develop respect on that basis. But this attempt is doomed to fail, precisely because at the root there is fear.
When obedience is based on respect, which includes a measure of fear, results are obtained because of the development of internal control. And children are taught to be self-reliant. Religion cannot base itself primarily on respect because respect assumes autonomy and self-reliance, which contradicts the fundamental pyramidal scheme of religious thinking.
The catch is that teaching through fear gets superficial results very fast, while teaching through respect takes time.
Clinically, when believers insist on obedience, they actually project on their children their own unconscious rebellious memories and punish and reinforce themselves through their children.
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