Can somebody help me make sense of this

Sep 2017
303
Earth
#1
I have a few questions about this passage from Abdul Baha about the education of children ..


This is a sin unpardonable, for they have made that poor babe a wanderer in the Sahara of ignorance, unfortunate and tormented; to remain during a lifetime a captive of ignorance and pride, negligent and without discernment. Verily, if that babe depart from this world at the age of infancy, it is sweeter and better. In this sense, death is better than life; deprivation than salvation; non-existence lovelier than existence; the grave better than the palace; and the narrow, dingy tomb better than the spacious, regal home; for in the sight of mankind that child is abased and degraded and in the sight of God weak and defective. In gatherings it is ashamed and humiliated and in the arena of examination subdued and defeated by young and old. What a mistake is this! What an everlasting humiliation!

Therefore, the beloved of God and the maid-servants of the Merciful must train their children with life and heart and teach them in the school of virtue and perfection. They must not be lax in this matter; they must not be inefficient. Truly, if a babe did not live at all it were better than to let it grow ignorant, for that innocent babe, in later life, would become afflicted with innumerable defects, responsible to and questioned by God, reproached and rejected by the people. What a sin this would be and what an omission!

1. Why would an 'innocent babe' be responsible to God?

2. Why does free will have no role in the passages of education (this is one of many), Abdul Baha says that education can make you virtuous and a lack of education make you ignorant, what about the passages talking about free will? this passage seems to ignore free will, and is saying a lack of education will make you lead a life of sin.
 
Jun 2014
1,008
Wisconsin
#2
I have a few questions about this passage from Abdul Baha about the education of children ..


This is a sin unpardonable, for they have made that poor babe a wanderer in the Sahara of ignorance, unfortunate and tormented; to remain during a lifetime a captive of ignorance and pride, negligent and without discernment. Verily, if that babe depart from this world at the age of infancy, it is sweeter and better. In this sense, death is better than life; deprivation than salvation; non-existence lovelier than existence; the grave better than the palace; and the narrow, dingy tomb better than the spacious, regal home; for in the sight of mankind that child is abased and degraded and in the sight of God weak and defective. In gatherings it is ashamed and humiliated and in the arena of examination subdued and defeated by young and old. What a mistake is this! What an everlasting humiliation!

Therefore, the beloved of God and the maid-servants of the Merciful must train their children with life and heart and teach them in the school of virtue and perfection. They must not be lax in this matter; they must not be inefficient. Truly, if a babe did not live at all it were better than to let it grow ignorant, for that innocent babe, in later life, would become afflicted with innumerable defects, responsible to and questioned by God, reproached and rejected by the people. What a sin this would be and what an omission!

1. Why would an 'innocent babe' be responsible to God?
Read again, especially the underlined: "that innocent babe, in later life, would become afflicted with innumerable defects, responsible to and questioned by God, reproached and rejected by the people. What a sin this would be and what an omission!"

Sorry, don't have the free time to examine further for your second question.
 
Sep 2017
303
Earth
#3
Nope does not make sense to me, it says they have made that babe a captive of pride? I thought we have free will to do good or bad and no one but us is responsible
 
Jun 2014
1,008
Wisconsin
#4
Nope does not make sense to me, it says they have made that babe a captive of pride? I thought we have free will to do good or bad and no one but us is responsible
Sorry, I wasn't clear on that I'll try to restate, regarding only the first question, the quote you provide states "that innocent babe in later life, would become ... responsible to ... God". (removed some parts of quote to parse the statement and to better compare with your own statement of what the quote says)

Ergo the statement made in the first question would be incorrect, the quote does not state that the "innocent babe is responsible to God", but rather that "the innocent babe would become in later life responsible to God."
 
Oct 2018
1
Norway
#5
Hi all. I am glad to join all fellow Bahais here.
I can just say...my understanding of the writings Is...
Every soul is responsible for theirs action, use of the gift of intellect (that will More or less reflect your souls state) and question this matter as simple as possible. Then go in the dept of it.

As I said. Every soul is responsible for their way of living the given life from God.
And this child has in an earlier "life" been in a certain state of mind and soul.
And done their deeds.
And as far as we have learned is that everything is ment to move forward and evolve. But not the nakedness, son of flesh and bone. Given the gift of intellect, yet they can not see the clearest writing's of the holy pen. Because the absence of the soul makes it impossible for them to recognize anything divine.
They will end in the darkest place in afterlife with all other nakedness like them self. they will understand why they are there. But they wouldn't mind it. And instead they want to stay in the darkness and company each other. These wicked sin will never evolve.

So... Talking about a child as its soul have never existed before?
And isn't it God that knows Best ,where and which parents to place these souls?
So they can maybe evolve from the consequences of past deeds?
Like walking up the stages of the soul, towards the everlasting light of God.
 
Sep 2017
303
Earth
#7
Why would a soul, man, babe who has been forced to live a life of ignorance be held accountable if it was forced and ‘innocent’
 
Sep 2018
25
usa
#8
Held accountable doesn’t mean they have room in the next world where theres a guy who give you a performance review and sends you to either hell or heaven in an elevator.
If you are ignorant, then you make dumb decisions and suffer the consequencesof your actions later on in life.
 
Aug 2014
1,346
Blue Planet
#9
Why would a soul, man, babe who has been forced to live a life of ignorance be held accountable if it was forced and ‘innocent’
Dear Yousefy
Even if you look at that matter from the point of view of psychology and science, it makes sense. it is proven that the basic character of a baby is formed during the first 3 years of his life. From then on, specially at the age of maturity, it is very difficult to change what he has learnt during the first three years. that is why education is so important, and that is why a babe who is not well educated during the first years of his life has more chances to do wrong later on.
Of course we all have free will to try to be better people. but there are two matters. first of all, if you receive wring education as a child, then chances are you may not know what are the good things later on in your life to act according to them. OR even if you do, it will be very difficult to use free will to change the old bad habits.
 
Sep 2017
303
Earth
#10
Dear Yousefy
Even if you look at that matter from the point of view of psychology and science, it makes sense. it is proven that the basic character of a baby is formed during the first 3 years of his life. From then on, specially at the age of maturity, it is very difficult to change what he has learnt during the first three years. that is why education is so important, and that is why a babe who is not well educated during the first years of his life has more chances to do wrong later on.
Of course we all have free will to try to be better people. but there are two matters. first of all, if you receive wring education as a child, then chances are you may not know what are the good things later on in your life to act according to them. OR even if you do, it will be very difficult to use free will to change the old bad habits.
So will a good education improve the chances of a soul to recognise Bahá’u’lláh ? And do all souls have the capability to recognise Bahá’u’lláh regardless of education?
 

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