Due to another thread I bought Tim Tebow's book "Through My Eyes". I've not finished it yet because I've been uber busy, but so far it summarizes as a very sad story, IMO. Tim Tebow was basically created, brought in to this world, by his parents to be a preacher. Or maybe even more fanatically a prophet of some sort (though they don't outright say that.) But his father prayed to god to bring him a preacher, and it was revealed to him and his wife that they were to give birth to another child. That child would be hand chosen by god to deliver his message to the world.
His mom basically lived in a 3rd world country
with no modern medicine and survived a pregnancy that should have been naturally aborted. And then the book basically goes in to detail about how they didn't allow their children to have any outside influence such as TV. They weren't allowed to go to their friends houses because they were afraid of what influences their children might encounter.
They discuss how they used biblical scriptures to guide their children's morals, and basically 100% indoctrinated, brainwashed, and controlled their children. IMO it all seems very sad, and it makes me feel sorry for the guy and his siblings. The book reads as very cultish, like 20 years from now people will look back and say that poor kid never had a chance.
But then you look at the guy an he's presumably happy, rich, famous, and for all we know has all his wants and desires met.
So my problem becomes do we feel bad for people who are otherwise happy with their lives?
I look at most theist with respect, in the sense that I don't treat them differently than anyone else. But ultimately I think they are insane, some of them are so brainwashed they have no hope, some are just too scared to let go, and some have seen the truth and reject it intentionally. They may be able to be function highly in every other aspect of their lives, but when it comes to their beliefs are they not insane? Do you not feel sympathy for people who were indoctrinated from birth and who will never be given a chance to escape the cult of religion?
Some people tell me I shouldn't feel sympathetic towards them because they enjoy their lives, and some of them are "better off" than me. But I can't help but feel a little sadness when I think of people like Tim Tebow, who had their lives dictated for them so heavily. It's always been my goal to raise my children to be whatever they want, from sexual orientation, religion, politics, career, education, etc. Of course I do guide them and try to prevent them from becoming drug addicts, alcoholics, etc ultimately their life is their own to live how they want. I try my best not to project my own world view on to them. I guess it just makes me sad to see children, and adults who were not allowed this freedom.
Perhaps I shouldn't waste the energy on adults, because they can arguable think for themselves, but can they really? What are your alls thoughts?