Interesting... I will say that I was not raised as a Calvinist and did not really discover its particular theological traditions until my late twenties. My eventual acceptance of the Reformed tradition came about much the same way that I came to accept Rothbardian libertarianism. I came to both with some properly basic presuppositions and found that both ideologies/theologies were inherently internally consistent and had very appealing explanatory powers with their respective worldview paradigms. I also found that they mesh well with each other with some notable exceptions.
As to your final comments on "sentient, independent thinker" I find that to make such a comment is to seek to dehumanize a group of people whom you disagree with. Furthermore your basic premise is irrational. Everyone comes to certain schools of thought with particular presupposed ideas already established in his or her mind. Would you call someone non-sentient for presupposing logic or other such properly basic ideas? I should hope not. I presuppose Judeo-Christian scripture as my foundational belief. Therefore I view the world and inform my worldview through this lens and Calvinism orders this presupposition.
1. I presuppose scripture
2. Calvinism brings structure to this presupposition
3. I view the world through this ordered presupposition
Am I less than sentient because of this?
I hear what you are saying in regards to groups and organizations and people who only hold ideas based on what the group believes but a rational person disassembles these groups arguments based on logic not by dehumanizing them. For instance, I reject Republican ideology because it is internally inconsistent and therefore irrational. I do not reject the ideology because it is associated with a group I reject. This would be circular reasoning, which may be what you are engaging in. Indoctrination itself is not inherently bad. It is the ideology that one is indoctrinated into that can be good or bad. If I were "indoctrinated" from an early age to think logically would that be bad because its still indoctrination? Are you implying that it is immoral to teach truth or morality to our children, because that is indoctrinating them to truth or morality? We ALL believe certain things a priori there is no way to get around this. Broad stroke accusations of "indoctrination" are not only unhelpful but also irrational.
In conclusion, I agree with you that perhaps my ordering of my opening sentence may have been less than precise but my intent was to quickly give a broad over view of the school of though that I was coming from.
"Do not suppose that abuses are eliminated by destroying the object which is abused.Men can go wrong with wine and women.Shall we then prohibit and abolish women? The sun, the moon,and the stars have been worshiped.Shall we then pluck them out of the sky?
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