When we use the word “indoctrinate,” we usually have religion in my mind. Many atheists have long spoken against the idea of indoctrinating children into religion, but in reality, all parents indoctrinate their children. Some of us raise our children to be good members of society. Some of us raise our children to be racists, and some of us raise our children to be religious. None of this changes the fact that all children are indoctrinated. So, what is important is what children are indoctrinated to believe.
Say what you want about the religious, but if they actually believe that non-believers are going to burn, how can we expect them to not teach their children about God? This is something I’m concerned about, and so, I can only conclude that some amount of religious indoctrination will always have to be excused. If someone strongly believes that “meat is murder” it cannot be expected that the person won’t teach their children the same.
Of course, some teachings are so horrible that they cannot be excused. There may be certain teachings that are so abhorrent that teaching is tantamount to child abuse. Should we take a child away from her KKK member parents?
I think the only thing people can do is to refuse parents the right of isolating their children. Children need to be introduced to the age-appropriate things society has to offer. Parents may play the biggest role in a child’s life, but society as whole can play a part. This can be done in schooling where thinking skills need to be taught.
Nevertheless, I’m skeptical that society could play a big role, and I’m skeptical that proper schooling will teach actual thinking skills, as opposed to teachers’ biases.