"Sexual" education

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Re: "Sexual" education

Postby linguoboy » 2013-09-13, 18:59

mōdgethanc wrote:
Science tells us, in this case, which sexual behaviours are good. If parents thinks differently, they should be free to decide how to educate their children.
Science absolutely does no such thing. Science tells us facts, not morals.

For instance, science can tell us what physical and psychological harm results from masturbation. (Answer: none.) If, however, you subscribe to a religious philosophy which sees moral harm as a consequence of masturbation, well, there's nothing preventing you from instilling this teaching in your children in your own time with them. Naturally, it may be an uphill battle to convince them that there are harmful metaphysical consequences for an action with no tangible harmful effects, but--as mentioned above--that's a problem you've brought on yourself and I have little sympathy for your predicament. I'm certainly not about to allow the child's education to be compromised on account of it.
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Re: "Sexual" education

Postby Massimiliano B » 2013-09-13, 19:24

@ linguoboy

You have to accept the beliefs that other persons hold. A belief is "sincerely held" if I say that I believe it. You don't have the right to question the sicerity of my beliefs - unless I believe something which is against life and rationality.

Satanism, in my opinion, is against life and rationality.

My position is not obscurantist, but the opposite of obscurantism. In fact, I think that everyone has the right to decide which kind of teachings are good for their children. A minor is (at least in Italy) not able to take such decision. On the contrary, you say that everyone should attend the same subjects and teachings, leaving aside the manifold worldviews that people can have.

I haven't anything else to say.

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Re: "Sexual" education

Postby linguoboy » 2013-09-13, 19:44

Massimiliano B wrote:You have to accept the beliefs that other persons hold. A belief is "sincerely held" if I say that I believe it. You don't have the right to question the sicerity of my beliefs

In that case, it is indistinguishable from a whim. Thus my earlier point stands and your objections to it are disingenuous at best.

Massimiliano B wrote:unless I believe something which is against life and rationality.

But how does one define "rationality" in a philosophically-independent manner? There is widespread belief in the freethought community that religion is inherently irrational. How do you refute that?

Massimiliano B wrote:Satanism, in my opinion, is against life and rationality.

But why should your opinion be privileged above the sincerely-held beliefs of a Satanist?

Massimiliano B wrote:My position is not obscurantist, but the opposite of obscurantism. In fact, I think that everyone has the right to decide which kind of teachings are good for their children. A minor is (at least in Italy) not able to take such decision. On the contrary, you say that everyone should attend the same subjects and teachings, leaving aside the manifold worldviews that people can have.

Again, if your worldview is incompatible with a curriculum grounded in scientific objectivity, well, that's your problem and no one else's.

As meidei says, if you feel strongly that your children should receive an education specifically designed to be compatible with your religious beliefs, then you're free to send them to a religious-affiliated educational institution. If you want them educated at the state's expense, then you have to accept the curriculum which the state deems is appropriate.
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Re: "Sexual" education

Postby Massimiliano B » 2013-09-13, 22:37

linguoboy wrote:
Massimiliano B wrote:You have to accept the beliefs that other persons hold. A belief is "sincerely held" if I say that I believe it. You don't have the right to question the sicerity of my beliefs

In that case, it is indistinguishable from a whim. Thus my earlier point stands and your objections to it are disingenuous at best.


No, they are not. When I say "my beliefs" I mean that my beliefs are not an arbitrary whim, but something which depends on a religious or philosophical tradition - as I said in another post.


linguoboy wrote:
Massimiliano B wrote:unless I believe something which is against life and rationality.

But how does one define "rationality" in a philosophically-independent manner? There is widespread belief in the freethought community that religion is inherently irrational. How do you refute that?


The only irrationality of religion is the fact that it relies on a revelation from a supernatural being (but this irrationality is valid only from an atheistic point of view). However, the consequences of this initial irrationality are not irrational. Indeed, Buddhism, Christianity, Islamism, and the other religions, have in common the principle of the defense of life and of the respect of all its forms.


linguoboy wrote:
Massimiliano B wrote:Satanism, in my opinion, is against life and rationality.

But why should your opinion be privileged above the sincerely-held beliefs of a Satanist?


(We are not talking about "my" opinion, but about the opinions of a religious person). Religion is
in favour of life, while Satanism is against life. So, the former is good, while the latter is a danger for society.


linguoboy wrote:As meidei says, if you feel strongly that your children should receive an education specifically designed to be compatible with your religious beliefs, then you're free to send them to a religious-affiliated educational institution. If you want them educated at the state's expense, then you have to accept the curriculum which the state deems is appropriate.


Again, I have to refer to the European Convention of Human Rights:

«No person shall be denied the right to education. In the exercise
of any functions which it assumes in relation to education and to
teaching, the State shall respect the right of parents to ensure such
education and teaching in conformity with their own religious and
philosophical convictions».

Don't you think that this paragraph is good?

(I haven't really anything else to add).

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Re: "Sexual" education

Postby md0 » 2013-09-13, 22:41

You keep quoting that.

You are not denied that right. The state (let's say of Italy) does not ban religion-affiliated schools. You have that choice. If you lived in a country that bans religion-affiliated schools, you'd had a case. But as far as I can tell, plenty of religious schools in Italy. It is your choice.
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Re: "Sexual" education

Postby Massimiliano B » 2013-09-13, 22:55

Meidei, I think that the State has to ensure education for everyone not by creating particular kinds of schools (i.e. schools for Muslims, for Christians, etc..), but within the limits of the public school. Or do you think we need ghetto-schools?

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Re: "Sexual" education

Postby md0 » 2013-09-13, 23:06

Meidei, I think that the State

You think so, it's your opinion. It is not what the HR Charter says so you can stop quoting it.
It says " the State shall respect the right of parents to ensure such education and teaching in conformity with their own religious and philosophical convictions"

Parents must ensure. The State has to respect the choice of parents to select a school that follows their convictions. The State is not required to provide that education, only to make it possible to be received.

Now, going on your opinion:
Or do you think we need ghetto-schools?

Sure, I agree that there shouldn't be ghettos in education. That's why I believe that public education must be secular. Religious matters should stay out of school completely. Therefore, no Religion classes of any form other than within History and Cultures (which are scientific subjects), and no exceptions from scientific classes on the basis of personal convictions. Otherwise, ghettos will be created, and you said that you agree with me that ghettos are bad.

You can provide religious or philosophical training at your home, at an after-school class or by opting for a completely religious day school which are allowed and do exist.
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Re: "Sexual" education

Postby Massimiliano B » 2013-09-13, 23:26

There are people who are not religious, but nevertheless don't want their children to attend some kinds of teachings that the State offers. Also, there are minor religions that have no private schools. What have these people to do? I didn't mean that the State has to offer religious education, but that it has to offer those people the possibility to decide whether their children have to attend a particular subject or not.

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Re: "Sexual" education

Postby Johanna » 2013-09-13, 23:59

For me, going to a public school that taught me "no, you don't ever have to do stuff you don't feel like doing, and this is why", sex-ed was a huge advantage.

Massimiliano B, if my parents had been of the more fundamental stock and pulled me out of sex-ed, do you think that would have been a good thing? Instead of the things I did learn, I would have been taught that men decide over me, and that I couldn't ever say no to my husband's wishes, a husband I wouldn't have chosen for myself even, but instead my father would.

You might think it's a freedom of choice, but it's only a freedom of oppressors to keep oppressing. The ones really affected will remain ignorant until they do get that education.
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Re: "Sexual" education

Postby linguoboy » 2013-09-14, 1:24

Massimiliano B wrote:No, they are not. When I say "my beliefs" I mean that my beliefs are not an arbitrary whim, but something which depends on a religious or philosophical tradition - as I said in another post.

That's immaterial. We're talking about a general principle which could be applied to any parent with a child in the school. Either (a) the state commits to investigating each case in order to distinguish beliefs which are based in "a religious or philosophical tradition" from mere whims or (b) we take any and every statement a parent makes about their beliefs at face value. You are clearly espousing (b). That would mean that any parent could withdraw their child from any class on a whim and--as long as they claim that it was based on a "sincerely held belief"--their right to do so could not be challenged. (Because you claim above, "You don't have the right to question the si[n]cerity of my beliefs".)

I don't understand how you can keep missing the point on this. Any principles you assert in order to educate your children according to your beliefs have to apply equally to everyone--that's a very basic principle of the charter you're so fond of quoting. You cannot simply assume that they will not be invoked lightly or cynically. (A rudimentary understanding of Kant's categorical principle would come in handy here.)

Massimiliano B wrote:
linguoboy wrote:
Massimiliano B wrote:unless I believe something which is against life and rationality.

But how does one define "rationality" in a philosophically-independent manner? There is widespread belief in the freethought community that religion is inherently irrational. How do you refute that?

The only irrationality of religion is the fact that it relies on a revelation from a supernatural being (but this irrationality is valid only from an atheistic point of view).

And from an atheistic point of view, that's a whopper of an irrationality.

Massimiliano B wrote:However, the consequences of this initial irrationality are not irrational. Indeed, Buddhism, Christianity, Islamism, and the other religions, have in common the principle of the defense of life and of the respect of all its forms.

""If your very own brother, or your son or daughter, or the wife you love, or your closest friend secretly entices you, saying, “Let us go and worship other gods” (gods that neither you nor your ancestors have known, gods of the peoples around you, whether near or far, from one end of the land to the other), do not yield to them or listen to them. Show them no pity. Do not spare them or shield them. You must certainly put them to death. Your hand must be the first in putting them to death, and then the hands of all the people. Stone them to death, because they tried to turn you away from the Lord your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery. Then all Israel will hear and be afraid, and no one among you will do such an evil thing again." (Deuteronomy 13:6-10)

Massimiliano B wrote:
linguoboy wrote:
Massimiliano B wrote:Satanism, in my opinion, is against life and rationality.

But why should your opinion be privileged above the sincerely-held beliefs of a Satanist?

(We are not talking about "my" opinion, but about the opinions of a religious person).

That doesn't alter the question: Why should the opinion of one "religious person" be privileged above the sincerely-held beliefs of another?

Massimiliano B wrote:Religion is in favour of life, while Satanism is against life. So, the former is good, while the latter is a danger for society.

Prove it.

Massimiliano B wrote:(I haven't really anything else to add).

No, you don't. You just keep repeating the same circular, unsubstantiated arguments. You feel the state should make special exceptions on account of your irrational belief system; I believe it shouldn't. It can't accommodate us both.
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Re: "Sexual" education

Postby Ludwig Whitby » 2013-09-14, 9:59

Massimiliano B wrote:Religion is in favour of life, while Satanism is against life. So, the former is good, while the latter is a danger for society.


That's funny because Satanists usually say that Christianity is against life, while Satanism is in favour of life. Modern Satanism is very much based on Nietzschean philosophy and one of his most important philosophical ideas was choosing the affirmation of life and the will, rather than the Christian negation of life and the will.

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Re: "Sexual" education

Postby linguoboy » 2013-09-14, 14:26

Ludwig Whitby wrote:
Massimiliano B wrote:Religion is in favour of life, while Satanism is against life. So, the former is good, while the latter is a danger for society.

That's funny because Satanists usually say that Christianity is against life, while Satanism is in favour of life. Modern Satanism is very much based on Nietzschean philosophy and one of his most important philosophical ideas was choosing the affirmation of life and the will, rather than the Christian negation of life and the will.

Surely you're not expecting a Christian to familiarise themselves with something before they condemn it?
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Re: "Sexual" education

Postby Massimiliano B » 2013-09-15, 0:46

linguoboy wrote:
Massimiliano B wrote:No, they are not. When I say "my beliefs" I mean that my beliefs are not an arbitrary whim, but something which depends on a religious or philosophical tradition - as I said in another post.

That's immaterial. We're talking about a general principle which could be applied to any parent with a child in the school. Either (a) the state commits to investigating each case in order to distinguish beliefs which are based in "a religious or philosophical tradition" from mere whims or (b) we take any and every statement a parent makes about their beliefs at face value. You are clearly espousing (b).


No, I'm not. I'm espousing (a).


linguoboy wrote: Any principles you assert in order to educate your children according to your beliefs have to apply equally to everyone


Equally to everyone? Even to someone who has different principles?


linguoboy wrote:""If your very own brother, or your son or daughter, or the wife you love, or your closest friend secretly entices you, saying, “Let us go and worship other gods” (gods that neither you nor your ancestors have known, gods of the peoples around you, whether near or far, from one end of the land to the other), do not yield to them or listen to them. Show them no pity. Do not spare them or shield them. You must certainly put them to death. Your hand must be the first in putting them to death, and then the hands of all the people. Stone them to death, because they tried to turn you away from the Lord your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery. Then all Israel will hear and be afraid, and no one among you will do such an evil thing again." (Deuteronomy 13:6-10)



This is the position of the Catholic church:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Evangelium_Vitae

I am familiar with it, so I quote it. But I'm sure I can find similar positions in other religions.

Religious books are formed by all the worldviews that have developed the history, so they may contain differents moral systems. Thus, quoting an excerpt is worthless.


linguoboy wrote:Why should the opinion of one "religious person" be privileged above the sincerely-held beliefs of another?


I don't talk about opinons of single persons, but about religious positions and philosophical positions that have arisen throughout the course of centuries and so are rationally well-grounded.

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Re: "Sexual" education

Postby Massimiliano B » 2013-09-15, 1:13

Ludwig Whitby wrote:
Massimiliano B wrote:Religion is in favour of life, while Satanism is against life. So, the former is good, while the latter is a danger for society.


That's funny because Satanists usually say that Christianity is against life, while Satanism is in favour of life. Modern Satanism is very much based on Nietzschean philosophy and one of his most important philosophical ideas was choosing the affirmation of life and the will, rather than the Christian negation of life and the will.


Ah, okay. That kind of Satanism is good

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Re: "Sexual" education

Postby Massimiliano B » 2013-09-15, 1:58

Johanna wrote:For me, going to a public school that taught me "no, you don't ever have to do stuff you don't feel like doing, and this is why", sex-ed was a huge advantage.

Massimiliano B, if my parents had been of the more fundamental stock and pulled me out of sex-ed, do you think that would have been a good thing? Instead of the things I did learn, I would have been taught that men decide over me, and that I couldn't ever say no to my husband's wishes, a husband I wouldn't have chosen for myself even, but instead my father would.

You might think it's a freedom of choice, but it's only a freedom of oppressors to keep oppressing. The ones really affected will remain ignorant until they do get that education.



I had a Pakistani student who married a man she had never met before. She has a degree in English and is very intelligent. She told me that what happened to her is normal in Pakistan. Cultures are relative.

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Re: "Sexual" education

Postby Ludwig Whitby » 2013-09-15, 8:30

Massimiliano B wrote:
Ludwig Whitby wrote:
Massimiliano B wrote:Religion is in favour of life, while Satanism is against life. So, the former is good, while the latter is a danger for society.


That's funny because Satanists usually say that Christianity is against life, while Satanism is in favour of life. Modern Satanism is very much based on Nietzschean philosophy and one of his most important philosophical ideas was choosing the affirmation of life and the will, rather than the Christian negation of life and the will.


Ah, okay. That kind of Satanism is good

You're being sarcastic, right? I'm not sure if it's good or bad, but I know that Satanism is not against life.

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Re: "Sexual" education

Postby linguoboy » 2013-09-16, 16:48

Massimiliano B wrote:No, I'm not. I'm espousing (a).

So then how do you square this with "You don't have the right to question the si[n]cerity of my beliefs" except by saying that everyone else's beliefs can be questions but yours are sacrosanct?

Massimiliano B wrote:
linguoboy wrote: Any principles you assert in order to educate your children according to your beliefs have to apply equally to everyone

Equally to everyone? Even to someone who has different principles?

Especially to someone who has different principles. Again, I don't see what's difficult about this.

You want a special privilege to pull your children out of sex ed classes because you claim they're against your "beliefs" (although you haven't explained how). But would you support the cause of a Communist who wanted to pull her children out of history classes because what they taught was not consistent with her beliefs?

Massimiliano B wrote:This is the position of the Catholic church:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Evangelium_Vitae

This is also the position of the Catholic Church: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Just_war. So much for respecting all forms of human life, let alone the forms taken by other living beings.

Massimiliano B wrote:
linguoboy wrote:Why should the opinion of one "religious person" be privileged above the sincerely-held beliefs of another?

I don't talk about opinons of single persons, but about religious positions and philosophical positions that have arisen throughout the course of centuries and so are rationally well-grounded.

It's begging the question to say that a religious or philosophical position is "rationally well-grounded" simply because it's been around a long time. The Virgin Birth, to name just one example, is an irrational belief no matter how long Christians have maintained it.

So what this equates to is saying that the beliefs of persons who claim membership in centuries-old religious bodies should be privileged above the beliefs of persons who do not. Again, how can you defend this in the face of a doctrine of equality? [See CFREU Ch. III, Art. 21.1: "Any discrimination based on any ground such as sex, race, colour, ethnic or social origin, genetic features, language, religion or belief, political or any other opinion, membership of a national minority, property, birth, disability, age or sexual orientation shall be prohibited."]
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Re: "Sexual" education

Postby Massimiliano B » 2013-09-16, 20:03

linguoboy wrote:
Massimiliano B wrote:No, I'm not. I'm espousing (a).

So then how do you square this with "You don't have the right to question the si[n]cerity of my beliefs" except by saying that everyone else's beliefs can be questions but yours are sacrosanct?


You use the word "belief" as a synonim of "whim". I'm not talking about the sincerity of beliefs.If someone is Christian, or Muslim, no one has to question his beliefs.

linguoboy wrote:You want a special privilege to pull your children out of sex ed classes because you claim they're against your "beliefs" (although you haven't explained how). But would you support the cause of a Communist who wanted to pull her children out of history classes because what they taught was not consistent with her beliefs?


If there is a tiny possibility that his or her position has a rational ground (i. e. scientific studies) then I think also Communists should have the right to do so.

linguoboy wrote:
Massimiliano B wrote:This is the position of the Catholic church:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Evangelium_Vitae

This is also the position of the Catholic Church: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Just_war. So much for respecting all forms of human life, let alone the forms taken by other living beings.


If you read all the paraghaphs, you can see that there are strict conditions for the application of this principle. The most important is the protection of life :D .
(Anyway, I was baptized on the Catholic church, but I have not been going to a church since 1996. I don't have to defend this religion).

linguoboy wrote:
Massimiliano B wrote:
linguoboy wrote:Why should the opinion of one "religious person" be privileged above the sincerely-held beliefs of another?

I don't talk about opinons of single persons, but about religious positions and philosophical positions that have arisen throughout the course of centuries and so are rationally well-grounded.

It's begging the question to say that a religious or philosophical position is "rationally well-grounded" simply because it's been around a long time. The Virgin Birth, to name just one example, is an irrational belief no matter how long Christians have maintained it.


Not "simply because it's been around a long time". The rationality of a belief comes first, then its
long life.


linguoboy wrote:So what this equates to is saying that the beliefs of persons who claim membership in centuries-old religious bodies should be privileged above the beliefs of persons who do not. Again, how can you defend this in the face of a doctrine of equality? [See CFREU Ch. III, Art. 21.1: "Any discrimination based on any ground such as sex, race, colour, ethnic or social origin, genetic features, language, religion or belief, political or any other opinion, membership of a national minority, property, birth, disability, age or sexual orientation shall be prohibited."


Here I don't read the word "whim", which you are fond of using.

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Re: "Sexual" education

Postby linguoboy » 2013-09-16, 20:54

Massimiliano B wrote:You use the word "belief" as a synonim of "whim".

Because to outsiders they're essentially indistinguishable. We don't have a magic helmet we can put on someone's head which will tell us accurate whether they "sincerely believe" what they are saying or are simply trying to game the system.

Massimiliano B wrote:I'm not talking about the sincerity of beliefs.If someone is Christian, or Muslim, no one has to question his beliefs.

Not even if their beliefs lay far outside the mainstream of their respective faiths? If someone says, "My child doesn't have to study geology because I know as a Christian that the Earth is only 7,000 years old" will you respect that belief? What if they believe their children need to be educated in the existence of a vast Jewish financial conspiracy?

Massimiliano B wrote:
linguoboy wrote:You want a special privilege to pull your children out of sex ed classes because you claim they're against your "beliefs" (although you haven't explained how). But would you support the cause of a Communist who wanted to pull her children out of history classes because what they taught was not consistent with her beliefs?

If there is a tiny possibility that his or her position has a rational ground (i. e. scientific studies) then I think also Communists should have the right to do so.

How many studies and from whom? Do they all have to be peer reviewed? How positive do the results have to be?

Massimiliano B wrote:(Anyway, I was baptized on the Catholic church, but I have not been going to a church since 1996. I don't have to defend this religion).

You're the one who brought it into the discussion.

Massimiliano B wrote:
linguoboy wrote:
Massimiliano B wrote:
linguoboy wrote:Why should the opinion of one "religious person" be privileged above the sincerely-held beliefs of another?

I don't talk about opinons of single persons, but about religious positions and philosophical positions that have arisen throughout the course of centuries and so are rationally well-grounded.

It's begging the question to say that a religious or philosophical position is "rationally well-grounded" simply because it's been around a long time. The Virgin Birth, to name just one example, is an irrational belief no matter how long Christians have maintained it.

Not "simply because it's been around a long time". The rationality of a belief comes first, then its
long life.

So if "rationality" is primary, why even consider the longevity at all?

Massimiliano B wrote:
linguoboy wrote:So what this equates to is saying that the beliefs of persons who claim membership in centuries-old religious bodies should be privileged above the beliefs of persons who do not. Again, how can you defend this in the face of a doctrine of equality? [See CFREU Ch. III, Art. 21.1: "Any discrimination based on any ground such as sex, race, colour, ethnic or social origin, genetic features, language, religion or belief, political or any other opinion, membership of a national minority, property, birth, disability, age or sexual orientation shall be prohibited."

Here I don't read the word "whim", which you are fond of using.

To make a point. You're making a tendentious distinction when you talk about "sincere beliefs" as if there's any foolproof method for determining which beliefs someone holds "sincerely".

Moreover, at the end of the day, the focus needs to be on what's best for the children, not what's most accommodating for their parents. If the parents' beliefs regarding the proper way to raise children are harmful, then it doesn't matter a whit how "sincere" they are. There are people who honestly believe they need to beat the Devil out of their children in order for them to grow up properly. (Google "Christian domestic discipline" and prepare to be sickened.) It's the responsibility of the state to prevent them.
"Richmond is a real scholar; Owen just learns languages because he can't bear not to know what other people are saying."--Margaret Lattimore on her two sons

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md0
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Re: "Sexual" education

Postby md0 » 2013-09-16, 21:08

Speaking of the state's responsibility, I was going through some court decisions recently, and I noticed a case in which the welfare services of the state removed the custody of a children from a family which refused to consent in an urgent, life-saving surgery on religious grounds; they did so by citing 'grave parental neglect', the child received the operation and then the custody was returned to the parents.
Apparently, the parents brought that all the way to the European Court of Human Rights. I do not recall reading if they finally won that case or not.

The point that I want to add here is where does M B draw the line? Is the philosophical leanings of the parent so important that they are above the need of their child to receive urgent medical assistance? Or the beliefs of the parents can only block indirect health and safety knowledge (knowing about safe sex will prevent possible future harm of oneself and others)?
To boil it down even further, are the feelings of the parents more important than the well-being of the child?
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