Hey guys, so this is just a thought of mine that I have, just want to share and see what other people think. But it is somewhat of a question too, so here it goes.
Often, I hear attacks on Christianity and just religion in general claiming that we are “brainwashed.” Not the kind of brainwashing you see in extreme cults, but a more subtle form, that starts with repeatedly being taught the faith since an early age. Now, I used to have a hard time responding to this, but then I came up with what seems to be a fairly valid response.
We are all “brainwashed.” If we’re talking about brainwashing in the subtle sense, then we all are. We are all brought up with values and beliefs, taught to us from childhood. These beliefs come from family, the media, religion, friends, etc. It doesn’t matter if you’re atheist or Christian. Even those adults who grow up and become atheist, while proudly proclaiming that they have broke away from all the brainwashing, still are “brainwashed” in a sense, because they are accepting a new belief, a belief that may have been told to them by others. And even if you classify atheism as a lack of belief, they still likely hold political and moral beliefs that are influenced by what others tell them, and likely may have still retained non-religious beliefs from their parents.
This is not an attack on atheism however. I am simply making the claim that everyone is brainwashed, Catholic, Jew, Nazi, atheist, whatever, we are all influenced and conditioned to think in certain ways. And brainwashed is a bad word, it carries bad connotations, I am just using the word that many people use when they attack religion.
I think being “brainwashed” isn’t a bad thing. I think what matters is that we wash our brains with truth and virtue, and that’s why it’s important to have discussions and ponder about God, philosophy, morals, etc, because in doing that, we grow closer to the truth. What do you guys think? Is this sort of reasoning in line with the teachings of our Church?