Pressing religion onto children

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Pressing religion onto children

I would like to hear thoughts (from anyone regardless of religious standing) over introducing children to religion, i was brought up not very strictly as a catholic, luckily i have relatively intellgent (now atheist) cousins and the fact that I have a brain helped me remove this curse. What do YOU think about teaching children to enter any  religion or whether to force them to become atheists.

 


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Demon Lord wrote:I would

Demon Lord wrote:

I would like to hear thoughts (from anyone regardless of religious standing) over introducing children to religion, i was brought up not very strictly as a catholic, luckily i have relatively intellgent (now atheist) cousins and the fact that I have a brain helped me remove this curse. What do YOU think about teaching children to enter any  religion or whether to force them to become atheists.

Fortunately for me, my mother is a christian and my father is an atheist. Mum only ever goes to church on special occasions, and never expected me to do more than that. They both took the time to explain what they thought and why to me, and let me figure it out for myself. When I decided I was an atheist (I think I was about 9 years old), it was mum who advised me about how to deal with prayers and hymns and other religious stuff at school.

I wouldn't like to see kids forced to become atheists, but I think kids should have to learn about different religions and philosophies, and about critical thinking. I suspect that most kids will go atheist on their own if you do that.

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I don't think religion

I don't think religion should be forced on anyone. I think the parents should teach the children to evaluate claims made by religion [as well as claims made about religion] under the scientific method.

 

 

 


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...

Children should be taught comparative religion and philosophy, and be given the freedom to choose their path.  Parents and guardians should make their own beliefs known if their children are curious. 

There is a book called "Parenting Beyond Belief:  On Raising Ethical, Caring Kids Without Religion" edited by Dale McGowan, with contributions from over 30 people.  

McGowan gave a lecture at the Center for Inquiry about parenting.  He said his mother is religious, and he told her that she can talk to his kids about anything she wants to regarding religion, with the exception that she can't tell them that they'll go to hell if they don't accept Jesus.   Another story he told was about when one of his kids asked him why people believe in god, when it's obvious he doesn't exist.  McGowan responded, "Why are you afraid to go in the basement by yourself in the dark?  You know there aren't any ghosts in there." 


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Cpt_pineapple wrote:I don't

Cpt_pineapple wrote:

I don't think religion should be forced on anyone. I think the parents should teach the children to evaluate claims made by religion [as well as claims made about religion] under the scientific method.

I second that.

My mother's family is very religious, except for her (although she is a bit new-agey), dad is an atheist but read the bible so that he could argue with people...

He once told me that he did not believe in a god but that I should look into everything myself and make my own decision. That was the only conversation I remember on the subject. Both of my parents taught me critical thinking, to question things and to try to see both sides of everything (dad loves to play devil's advocate, I can be arguing with him for a while before I remember that he actually agreed with me at an earlier time!).

I think indoctrinating a child with religion harms their abillity to think clearly and fills their head with shit.

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Jesus said, "Suppose ye that I am come to give peace on earth? I tell you, Nay; but rather division." - Luke 12:51


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 I've seen this

 I've seen this indoctrination go from creating a fantasyland at best, downright child abuse at worst. But I'll echo sentiments that not providing children with the knowledge of world religions is denying them useful tools for understanding culture and politics, not to mention how they may or may not arise in social situations.


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My children are being raised

My children are being raised Catholic.  Partially because my husband is still Catholic, partially because I was catholic for many years, including when we get married and one of the things you agree to when you marry in the catholic church is to raise your children catholic.  It may seem silly or wrong, but I said I would, I intend to follow through on that.

That said, my children know I am an atheist and no longer believe in god.  I talk to them about other religions as well and how morality shouldn't be something you practice because you're afraid of getting in trouble (from mom, dad or god) but because it's the rigth thing to do.  I will encourage them as they get older to explore their own beliefs and thought about god and religion and they can come to whatever conclusion they want.

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Oh FOR FUCK'S

Oh FOR FUCK'S SAKE!!!

Religion is a world of myths and fairy tales at best. A sociopathic political structure at worst.

WHY should you not teach children this crap? Is that even a serious question? Hello?

"The idea of God is the sole wrong for which I cannot forgive mankind." (Alphonse Donatien De Sade)

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Marquis wrote:Oh FOR FUCK'S

Marquis wrote:

Oh FOR FUCK'S SAKE!!!

Religion is a world of myths and fairy tales at best. A sociopathic political structure at worst.

WHY should you not teach children this crap? Is that even a serious question? Hello?

Like it or not, our society did evolve from this crap. There's history to the crap, even if the crap isn't history. Plus if we don't tech the kids to recognise crap at an early age they might take it seriously in later life.

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I tell my daughter about my

I tell my daughter about my religion and about christians(since the rest of her familoy is christian, as well as her classmates). She'll figure out what she believes on her own. She currently believes in faeries and santa claus.


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One important thing I want

One important thing I want to note is that the Christian perspective is not that all children who do not profess faith in Jesus go to Hell.  When Christ paid the penalty for sin, He provided salvation for everyone below the age of accountability.  Whether we teach religion to a child or not, if a child dies before s/he reaches the age of accountability, s/he will go to Heaven.

However, I would teach religion to my children because I do not acknowledge this issue to be an unresolved issue.  Atheists who hold to the belief that we should not teach anything to children and let them decide as adults what they wish to believe are holding to the idea that God is, in fact, unproven.  I do not accept this at all.  I believe that God is proven and that Christianity is validated.  I would, however, make it clear that the issue is highly controversial.

Children are still free to believe what they want to believe when they become adults, but ultimately, if we know something to be true, then we are going to teach it to our children.  Otherwise, we'd be hypocrites. 


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The age of accountability?

Fortunate_Son wrote:

One important thing I want to note is that the Christian perspective is not that all children who do not profess faith in Jesus go to Hell.  When Christ paid the penalty for sin, He provided salvation for everyone below the age of accountability.  Whether we teach religion to a child or not, if a child dies before s/he reaches the age of accountability, s/he will go to Heaven.

However, I would teach religion to my children because I do not acknowledge this issue to be an unresolved issue.  Atheists who hold to the belief that we should not teach anything to children and let them decide as adults what they wish to believe are holding to the idea that God is, in fact, unproven.  I do not accept this at all.  I believe that God is proven and that Christianity is validated.  I would, however, make it clear that the issue is highly controversial.

Children are still free to believe what they want to believe when they become adults, but ultimately, if we know something to be true, then we are going to teach it to our children.  Otherwise, we'd be hypocrites. 

 

I missed that in bible study. Please elaborate.

 

 

 

"Experiments are the only means of knowledge at our disposal. The rest is poetry, imagination." Max Planck


Atheistextremist
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I was raised

Demon Lord wrote:

I would like to hear thoughts (from anyone regardless of religious standing) over introducing children to religion, i was brought up not very strictly as a catholic, luckily i have relatively intellgent (now atheist) cousins and the fact that I have a brain helped me remove this curse. What do YOU think about teaching children to enter any  religion or whether to force them to become atheists.

Fundamentalist presbyterian, small churches, no sunday school. I sat through my father's revelations' sermons when I was six and had a full understanding of death, hell and all the rest of it by this time at the latest. It was the full us and them, christian warriers, satan in the cupboard, screaming sinners in hell upbringing. I think fundamentalist doctrine is child abuse and I hold up my endless inner turmoil and impossible to muzzle self doubt as a case in point.

Kids should learn logical thinking, philosophy (in as much as it allows us to speculate on things outside reality) and as many of the facts of the universe as they can manage. Once they've got all this on board and they are in a position to think you could start to consider they might be approaching the position of free will but this would vary wildly. I don't have real free will in this debate and I'm 42 and 3 quarters. Some people never learn to think and some people mistake acceptance of a doctrine as the exercising of free will.

Needless to say, if some prick told a child of mine they were going to hell for not accepting a bunch of dubious supernatural crap I would go absolutely fucking mental.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

"Experiments are the only means of knowledge at our disposal. The rest is poetry, imagination." Max Planck


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Infinite Knowledge.

Child indoctrination. A lot of atheists are very concerned about this issue. They believe that raising a child in the parents believe is child abuse. However, atheists fail to see that their worldview is also a faith position, because to say God doesn't exist in an absolute sense presupposes infinite knowledge. Doesn't it? It's like me saying that there is no rainbow colored rock in this entire universe. Well, the only way I can say that is if I have comprehensive knowledge of this entire universe. And if atheists have infinite knowledge, that's really what they're denying, that there is no being with infinite knowledge. Hence, they end up positing an absolute being, while denying absolute beings actually exist. So, the atheism worldview is a faith position just like any other theistic religion. You say that child indoctrination is immoral. But when two atheists have a child, I guarantee they will raise their children in respect of their faith position. Can you explain this problem for me? You see, atheism is a faith position, and should rather be inclusive to all other religions.

Intent is prior to Content.


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Genesis

GENESIS wrote:

Child indoctrination. A lot of atheists are very concerned about this issue. They believe that raising a child in the parents believe is child abuse. However, atheists fail to see that their worldview is also a faith position, because to say God doesn't exist in an absolute sense presupposes infinite knowledge. Doesn't it? It's like me saying that there is no rainbow colored rock in this entire universe. Well, the only way I can say that is if I have comprehensive knowledge of this entire universe. And if atheists have infinite knowledge, that's really what they're denying, that there is no being with infinite knowledge. Hence, they end up positing an absolute being, while denying absolute beings actually exist. So, the atheism worldview is a faith position just like any other theistic religion. You say that child indoctrination is immoral. But when two atheists have a child, I guarantee they will raise their children in respect of their faith position. Can you explain this problem for me? You see, atheism is a faith position, and should rather be inclusive to all other religions.

 

Raising a child under the threat of eternal immolation unless they accept the existence of invisible magic people and encouraging them to maintain an undecided position while waiting for further evidence cannot be compared in any slight way, massage them how you will.

Most atheists and agnostic atheists hold open the door to the vanishing possibility of an invisible magic deity while believing the current evidence is insufficient. The atheist position is therefore, nothing to do with faith. It's about believing on the basis of sufficient evidence. 

Anytime I have an actual damascus road moment replete with rays of light and booming voices and burning bushes, I'll be happy to worship. Until then, I will continue to believe god is a made up guy and the bulk of the theist doctrine is a recipe for proactive self delusion.

 

P.S. Welcome to the forum Genesis - is that cross on Mt Ararat?

 

 

 

"Experiments are the only means of knowledge at our disposal. The rest is poetry, imagination." Max Planck


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Quote:However, atheists fail

Quote:

However, atheists fail to see that their worldview is also a faith position, because to say God doesn't exist in an absolute sense presupposes infinite knowledge.

 

Wrong.  That isn't the definition of atheism.  Also, for atheism to require faith is a contradiction.


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...

GENESIS wrote:

...[A]theists fail to see that their worldview is also a faith position, because to say God doesn't exist in an absolute sense presupposes infinite knowledge. Doesn't it? It's like me saying that there is no rainbow colored rock in this entire universe. Well, the only way I can say that is if I have comprehensive knowledge of this entire universe. And if atheists have infinite knowledge, that's really what they're denying, that there is no being with infinite knowledge. Hence, they end up positing an absolute being, while denying absolute beings actually exist. So, the atheism worldview is a faith position just like any other theistic religion.

 

The best way to start is with no beliefs, then build up a worldview based on science and rationality.  If a claim isn't supported by science and rationality, it shouldn't be accepted.  Zero is the rational starting point for existence related beliefs.  The opposite is to believe that everything that could exist, does exist, and then to whittle away the beliefs that don't match up with rationality and evidence. 

If god appeared before me in its infinite glory, I still wouldn't believe in god.  The reason is that I would have no reason to believe that it was god before me.  Maybe it's an extremely powerful and knowledgeable alien.  Maybe it's an extremely powerful and knowledgeable species on Earth that hasn't been discovered yet.  Maybe it's a human from 3 million years in the future whose society mastered time travel.  Maybe it's a severe hallucination.  Maybe my real body is a million years in the future in an advanced virtual reality video game, and the being who appears before me is a computer program.    

One thing I would acknowledge if that happened is that I had the experience -- I wouldn't deny it.     

 


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Atheistextremist

Atheistextremist wrote:

 

Anytime I have an actual damascus road moment replete with rays of light and booming voices and burning bushes, I'll be happy to worship. 

I'd find it easier to believe you'd deduce that you were hallucinating and check yourself into a psychiatric facility.


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Philosophicus wrote:GENESIS

Philosophicus wrote:

GENESIS wrote:

...[A]theists fail to see that their worldview is also a faith position, because to say God doesn't exist in an absolute sense presupposes infinite knowledge. Doesn't it? It's like me saying that there is no rainbow colored rock in this entire universe. Well, the only way I can say that is if I have comprehensive knowledge of this entire universe. And if atheists have infinite knowledge, that's really what they're denying, that there is no being with infinite knowledge. Hence, they end up positing an absolute being, while denying absolute beings actually exist. So, the atheism worldview is a faith position just like any other theistic religion.

 

The best way to start is with no beliefs, then build up a worldview based on science and rationality.  If a claim isn't supported by science and rationality, it shouldn't be accepted.  Zero is the rational starting point for existence related beliefs.  The opposite is to believe that everything that could exist, does exist, and then to whittle away the beliefs that don't match up with rationality and evidence. 

Whether it's science and rationality or spiritual experiences and emotional needs, the point is that children should not be TOLD what to believe. They should be allowed to reach their own conclusions in their own way and in their own time (likely when they're at least sixteen or older and can think and reason for themselves). Theists should be encouraged to adopt this attitude for their children also, because if their children DO grow up to be believers by their own choosing, they'll be much stronger in their faith than if it's been forced onto them.


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I will concede this: 

I will concede this:  Children by their nature and lack of advanced reasoning skills, tend to accept whatever worldview their parents give them (be it religious or atheist) as dogma.  It's better, IMO, to bring children up with the concept of theist and atheist and then when they get old enough to start critically thinking for themselves, they can make a truly informed decision, instead of just following what their parents thought.

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Ciarin wrote:She currently

Ciarin wrote:

She currently believes in faeries and santa claus.

and how do you feel about that?  i mean from a CHRISTIAAAN perspective?

"I have never felt comfortable around people who talk about their feelings for Jesus, or any other deity for that matter, because they are usually none too bright. . . . Or maybe 'stupid' is a better way of saying it; but I have never seen much point in getting heavy with either stupid people or Jesus freaks, just as long as they don't bother me. In a world as weird and cruel as this one we have made for ourselves, I figure anybody who can find peace and personal happiness without ripping off somebody else deserves to be left alone. They will not inherit the earth, but then neither will I. . . . And I have learned to live, as it were, with the idea that I will never find peace and happiness, either. But as long as I know there's a pretty good chance I can get my hands on either one of them every once in a while, I do the best I can between high spots."
--Hunter S. Thompson


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You have ignored my first

You have ignored my first premise. To say God doesn't exist in an absolute sense presupposes infinite knowledge. It's your "belief," it is your faith that God doesn't exists. And instead have faith in science.

Intent is prior to Content.


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And oh sorry for not

And oh sorry for not replying to you post script. Yes. I believe at least the cross is on Mt. Ararat. It was photoshopped I believe.

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This seems to be a fallback position

GENESIS wrote:

You have ignored my first premise. To say God doesn't exist in an absolute sense presupposes infinite knowledge. It's your "belief," it is your faith that God doesn't exists. And instead have faith in science.

 

For you Genesis, that we can't say god does not exist with claiming infinite knowledge. However, most atheists do believe there might - might be a god. They just don't see any proof. You have to let go of the idea having faith in science is the same as having faith in god. I rely on the reproducible evidence - aside from a book of dubious authorship that makes huge numbers of unprovable claims, the only proof of god is that there are things in the universe we cannot explain.

 

 

 

 

"Experiments are the only means of knowledge at our disposal. The rest is poetry, imagination." Max Planck


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I don't even like the idea

I don't even like the idea of having children, so I don't have to worry about what to teach them.  (but definitely wouldn't send my little accidents to church, that's for sure)


Ciarin
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iwbiek wrote:Ciarin

iwbiek wrote:

Ciarin wrote:

She currently believes in faeries and santa claus.

and how do you feel about that?  i mean from a CHRISTIAAAN perspective?

 

It's full of awesome and WIN.


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...

smartypants wrote:

Philosophicus wrote:

GENESIS wrote:

...[A]theists fail to see that their worldview is also a faith position, because to say God doesn't exist in an absolute sense presupposes infinite knowledge. Doesn't it? It's like me saying that there is no rainbow colored rock in this entire universe. Well, the only way I can say that is if I have comprehensive knowledge of this entire universe. And if atheists have infinite knowledge, that's really what they're denying, that there is no being with infinite knowledge. Hence, they end up positing an absolute being, while denying absolute beings actually exist. So, the atheism worldview is a faith position just like any other theistic religion.

 

The best way to start is with no beliefs, then build up a worldview based on science and rationality.  If a claim isn't supported by science and rationality, it shouldn't be accepted.  Zero is the rational starting point for existence related beliefs.  The opposite is to believe that everything that could exist, does exist, and then to whittle away the beliefs that don't match up with rationality and evidence. 

Whether it's science and rationality or spiritual experiences and emotional needs, the point is that children should not be TOLD what to believe. They should be allowed to reach their own conclusions in their own way and in their own time (likely when they're at least sixteen or older and can think and reason for themselves). Theists should be encouraged to adopt this attitude for their children also, because if their children DO grow up to be believers by their own choosing, they'll be much stronger in their faith than if it's been forced onto them.

 

If you didn't read post #3, read it.  You're quoting post #16, where I was talking about adults (maybe I should have specified).  I was responding to GENESIS's claim that atheism is a faith position, and I pointed out how an adult's beliefs about existence should be formed.   There is no indication in the part of GENESIS's post that I quoted, or in the context, that he was talking about atheist children. 

Here are the first few lines of GENESIS's post #13, "Child indoctrination.  A lot of atheists are very concerned about this issue.  They believe that raising a child in the parents believe is child abuse.  However, atheists fail to see that their worldview is also a faith position..."  


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GENESIS wrote:You have

GENESIS wrote:

You have ignored my first premise. To say God doesn't exist in an absolute sense presupposes infinite knowledge. It's your "belief," it is your faith that God doesn't exists. And instead have faith in science.

 

I was recently "converted" to agnostic atheism about 4 months ago. It became obvious to me that I just cannot know enough about reality to determin if their is a deity. You are correct that many of us atheists put faith in science. To personally be able to disprove biblical accounts I would have to possess vast knowledge is several disciplines. I just don't have the time to do that, and even if I did, it is still possible that an all powerful being created the universe to trick me. So, where does this leave me? I have to either look at data and ideas supplied by living breathing human beings, or I have to believe the mythical stories found in religious texts. The only reason to believe the religious texts is to avoid some version of hell. So I either can go with my intellect, or I can make a decision based on fear. I am sorry but the honest answer for me is atheism. If there is a god that desires my worship for some unfathomable good reason, then he needs to take that up with each human being directly rather that handing down an ancient text that scholars and denominations to this day still argue of the meanings and translations of key passages.

 

Forcing religion on children is wrong. I was a devout Christian for 20 years, and even though I am atheist I will still always worry about the invisible god that could be real and might be sending me to hell for seeking evidence that will convince me of his existence.


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GENESIS wrote:And instead

GENESIS wrote:
And instead have faith in science.

aftershock567 wrote:
You are correct that many of us atheists put faith in science.
God and science are not the same things and I am always bewildered when theists throw out this tu quoque as though if it were faith that atheists (or indeed anyone, since there are theists who trust in and practice science professionally) had in science it would make it equivalent to god belief and that would somehow be a bad thing for the atheist.  Is not your faith in your god a special thing to you?

Fortunately, it's wholly incorrect and absurd, unless you're equivocating on meanings of the word faith.  The kind of faith that a person has in a god is belief without evidence.  Faith, in the sense of trust, however, is a completely different thing.  A person can have demonstrable evidence for trusting in something or someone, there is no evidence (and no, personal experience is not evidence) for a god.  Science, as in the scientific method, is a methodology that has been shown to be the only way in which knowledge can be gained.  The scientific method is the reason you're able to participate in this forum or function in everyday life (as the scientific method is informally employed by everyone).  Faith, as in the sort people have in god(s), is not a requirement to believe that science can, has or will answer pertinent questions about reality or produce useful knowledge that can be used in a very practical sense; science has shown that it works and continues to produce reliable results, so I can't imagine why anyone would have faith like that in god in science.

GENESIS wrote:
It's your "belief," it is your faith that God doesn't exists.
This is equivocating belief with faith and making a categorical error in the kind of belief to boot.  I don't believe in your Christian god-concept, first you have to show me a god-concept that is coherent before we can start to even talk about your belief in your god and why I should believe you.  Which is another belief I have: I don't believe you when you talk about something that is ostensibly a figment of your imagination (and not a coherent figment either); there isn't anything for me to disbelieve other than in what you say.  And neither of these beliefs require a faith of the sort that people have in god or any kind of faith at all.  There is no precedent for me to believe in your god-concept because it is incoherent and because you have no evidence to show for its existence and there certainly isn't any reason for me to believe in you telling me about something that is ostensibly a figment of your imagination because you don't have any evidence to show me that it's not and further because your description of the figment isn't coherent.

GENESIS wrote:
To say God doesn't exist in an absolute sense presupposes infinite knowledge.
It clearly doesn't.  You're talking about a belief in a very specific god-concept -yours.  It certainly doesn't take infinite knowledge to disbelieve you and the god-concept you're talking about when you have literally no evidence to show for it and when it is incoherent in the first place.

BigUniverse wrote,

"Well the things that happen less often are more likely to be the result of the supper natural. A thing like loosing my keys in the morning is not likely supper natural, but finding a thousand dollars or meeting a celebrity might be."


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Thomathy wrote:GENESIS


Thomathy wrote:

GENESIS wrote:
And instead have faith in science.

aftershock567 wrote:
You are correct that many of us atheists put faith in science.
God and science are not the same things and I am always bewildered when theists throw out this tu quoque as though if it were faith that atheists (or indeed anyone, since there are theists who trust in and practice science professionally) had in science it would make it equivalent to god belief and that would somehow be a bad thing for the atheist.  Is not your faith in your god a special thing to you?

Fortunately, it's wholly incorrect and absurd, unless you're equivocating on meanings of the word faith.  The kind of faith that a person has in a god is belief without evidence.  Faith, in the sense of trust, however, is a completely different thing.  A person can have demonstrable evidence for trusting in something or someone, there is no evidence (and no, personal experience is not evidence) for a god.  Science, as in the scientific method, is a methodology that has been shown to be the only way in which knowledge can be gained.  The scientific method is the reason you're able to participate in this forum or function in everyday life (as the scientific method is informally employed by everyone).  Faith, as in the sort people have in god(s), is not a requirement to believe that science can, has or will answer pertinent questions about reality or produce useful knowledge that can be used in a very practical sense; science has shown that it works and continues to produce reliable results, so I can't imagine why anyone would have faith like that in god in science.

GENESIS wrote:
It's your "belief," it is your faith that God doesn't exists.
This is equivocating belief with faith and making a categorical error in the kind of belief to boot.  I don't believe in your Christian god-concept, first you have to show me a god-concept that is coherent before we can start to even talk about your belief in your god and why I should believe you.  Which is another belief I have: I don't believe you when you talk about something that is ostensibly a figment of your imagination (and not a coherent figment either); there isn't anything for me to disbelieve other than in what you say.  And neither of these beliefs require a faith of the sort that people have in god or any kind of faith at all.  There is no precedent for me to believe in your god-concept because it is incoherent and because you have no evidence to show for its existence and there certainly isn't any reason for me to believe in you telling me about something that is ostensibly a figment of your imagination because you don't have any evidence to show me that it's not and further because your description of the figment isn't coherent.

GENESIS wrote:
To say God doesn't exist in an absolute sense presupposes infinite knowledge.
It clearly doesn't.  You're talking about a belief in a very specific god-concept -yours.  It certainly doesn't take infinite knowledge to disbelieve you and the god-concept you're talking about when you have literally no evidence to show for it and when it is incoherent in the first place.

 

also to add you dont need to know physics to know that if you drop something it will fall 


marshalltenbears
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 I'm a pretty new atheist

 I'm a pretty new atheist (about a year) and pretty new father (9 months). I had this same thought and wrote about it. I got some good responses. For me personally I think the best course of action an atheist parent can do is instill your child with a good sense of logical, rationality, critical thinking. All that good stuff. I refuse to force my beliefs on anyone, I am against anyone of any belief doing so, but that does not mean I will not share my rational point of view if the opportunity arises. As a child I hated going to church. It was not until later(about 10 years old), when I was told I am old enough to burn forever, that I gained a desire to go on my own. It could be a good experience for a child, given they can think logically, to see what some wack jobs believe. I even considered going with her just to make sure no one tries to fuck with her brain too much. But I think if she went she would be bored out of her mind and never want to go back. Who knows, maybe I can use church as a punishment. lol, "do your homework or I will make you go to church this Sunday" If she did go, or if I went with her I would have a discussion about it right after and ask what she thought about it, what could be wrong with these beliefs, are these claims consistent with the known laws of nature. I would basically use the scientific method approach. But bottom line, I feel no parent has the right to warp a child's mind. If they are supposed to exercise free will they need to decide completely on their own.

"Take all the heads of the people
and hang them up before the Lord
against the sun.” -- Numbers 25:4


marshalltenbears
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GENESIS wrote:Child

GENESIS wrote:

Child indoctrination. A lot of atheists are very concerned about this issue. They believe that raising a child in the parents believe is child abuse. However, atheists fail to see that their worldview is also a faith position, because to say God doesn't exist in an absolute sense presupposes infinite knowledge. Doesn't it? It's like me saying that there is no rainbow colored rock in this entire universe. Well, the only way I can say that is if I have comprehensive knowledge of this entire universe. And if atheists have infinite knowledge, that's really what they're denying, that there is no being with infinite knowledge. Hence, they end up positing an absolute being, while denying absolute beings actually exist. So, the atheism worldview is a faith position just like any other theistic religion. You say that child indoctrination is immoral. But when two atheists have a child, I guarantee they will raise their children in respect of their faith position. Can you explain this problem for me? You see, atheism is a faith position, and should rather be inclusive to all other religions.

Your argument fails on multiple levels. Lets start with the basics. Atheism is a lack of belief in a god, due to lack of evidence. Faith is belief without evidence. Therefore a lack of belief due to insufficient evidence is not a faith. And, yes some atheist will probably force there beliefs on their children or highly encourage them. However I feel most would encourage free thinking. How many religious parents do you know of that would do the same? I am yet to met a religious parent that encourages their child to believe what the child wants to believe. And isn't that taking away a child's free will? 

"Take all the heads of the people
and hang them up before the Lord
against the sun.” -- Numbers 25:4


Tapey
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I have no problem with

I have no problem with parents bringing there kids up in a religion. thats a parents job to shape the childs worldview. but the parents must also be suportive if there child goes a differant way. also the parents shouldn't paint other views badly. But there is nothing wrong with teaching your kid your religion. what you teach your own kid is your own choice. if you want to teach your kid all the colours wrong so they think red is blue etc. thats your own choice and epicly funny. all that is important is you dont stuff there lives up. religion won't  do that. being a douche about it might though.

Whatever goes upon two legs is an enemy.
Whatever goes upon four legs, or has wings, is a friend.
No animal shall wear clothes.
No animal shall sleep in a bed.
No animal shall drink alcohol.
No animal shall kill any other animal.
All animals are equal.


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Hi Tapey

 

You obviously had a pretty balanced upbringing without the fire and brimstone. While you're ok with a christian upbringing, what sort of religious influence are you happy with? We would have to agree that fundamentalist religions have no choice but to 'paint other views badly'. This can definitely cause grief for kids. I personally grew up in a state of advanced fear over religious teachings and could not say I am free of those fears yet. Can you say it's ok to teach kids red is blue and not "stuff their lives up"?

 

 

 

 

"Experiments are the only means of knowledge at our disposal. The rest is poetry, imagination." Max Planck


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Hey guys just found this

Hey guys just found this website on Google. Wonderful tool bringing me here to answer your legitimate question. Let me introduce myself. I am in my early fifties, have three kids, and work at the Discovery Institute. (Where I have had the pleasure of speaking briefly with great figures like Johnson and Behe to let them know how much I appreciate their work.) I have been a follower of Christ for my entire life.

Yes, it is important to educate children about Jesus Christ from a very young age. Here is my recipe for turning out more or less perfect children. I have had three children and they all turned out good followers of Christ so I know what I am talking about. 

BEFORE TWO

You can't really do anything before two because they don't know how to speak too well. It is best to begin at two, maybe on their second birthday. It is around then that their brain finishes putting the final touches on their "basic hardware," so to speak, and then they are ready for molding. But just in case, I and my wife would discuss basic Biblical stories and doctrines around them. We said things to them directly in a very slow voice to drill them in, like "HELL IS BAD" and "JESUS IS GOOD" over and over to try to fit those things into the kids' "mental foundation."

But kids are mainly visual learners at this age so we would also sometimes model scenes from the Bible for them. Especially Hell, which we modeled by burning their favorite action figures while we wore red face paint and horns and laughed loudly. Another way to model Hell is to lock the child in a dark room for a long time while making screaming noises and scratching the door. Now, I don't know how effective this is since we only did this to our last child, and we only did it four or five times. He has turned out very quiet and contemplative, so it seems to have had a good effect. Maybe. Anyway, we also gave the kids crosses and religious action figures along with the other toys that a child usually gets. Again, I don't know if any of this stuff actually had an impact since they were so young. I think the most important thing at this age is to model Biblical morality in your own actions, since actions speak even to those who do not know English yet: Go to church three times a week, read the Bible, be completely honest with everyone about everything, and punish lying and stealing severely.

Discursus on discipline

Now, there is a widely accepted myth that the child must only be disciplined for things that you know he did. This is profoundly unbiblical. The Bible teaches us that the flesh is weak, that all have sinned, and that we actually violate God's commandments just because he commands them! So neither the child nor anyone else gets off easy, so to speak, by the assumption that they are innocent or a good person. This has a specific application to child-rearing. When there is any doubt in your mind, the assumption should always be that the child has done something wrong and he should be punished accordingly.

AGES TWO TO SEVEN

This general period is where the real action is. This is between where their brain puts the final touches on its development and where the public school system gets ahold of them. So you really have to drill here. I mean, PUSH FOR CHRIST. There are six basic foundations for a good christian child to have. I use the acronym STINCH. 

First, the Support of a good Christian family. You have to let them know that you support them and are behind them unconditionally, as long as they believe in Jesus Christ the Lord. It must be absolutely clear in their mind that if they keep to the straight and narrow path of the Bible and the worship of Our Risen Lord, they have your love and you will be behind everything they do 100%. This is the first foundation because it is the most important, because only this can give them the confidence and security to go out and live a good Christian life in a hostile world. 

Second, Bible Teaching. Think about it. The Word of God is the sword this kid will have to use to slay the twin dragons of temptation within and unrighteousness without. So, nightly Bible readings, some regular Scripture memorization, discussion of Bible passages at home and during church. Make sure he knows how powerful the word of God is to the mind of the unconverted, even if it doesn't show. I can speak to this last from events in my own life. A caution: it's important that your child is being taught the right Bible passages. Bad verses are like a rusty sword. You would do this by, for example, speaking with your preacher if he makes a sermon in which he quotes Bible passages that you think will not help your child go out to fight the twin dragons.

Third, Integration into a good Christian community like a church. The point is to give him a support structure of friends, preacher, elders to fall back on if and when he begins to doubt. This means there has to be some rigidity in what these people will just accept, so they will prevent the child from falling into unacceptable beliefs. This means no liberal churches like the Methodists where you can basically be a Satan-worshipping gay Nazi and still be accepted. If there are no acceptable churches in the immediate area, I recommend the Boy Scouts when the child gets old enough. It's not ideal, I admit, but it's a solid, productive group where they don't allow people who are anti Christian in. Also, Eagle Scouts basically get a straight shot into Harvard.

Fourth, Negate anti Christian ideas and philosophies. This one is perhaps the most difficult and least important of the foundations, but you should put some significant effort into it anyway. He's in your loving hands now, but he'll soon be confronted by people with lots of beliefs different from his, and he will need to know how to embarass them in front of their friends. Winning arguments is good for the soul. Makes a buy faithful. I would know.

Fifth, go to Church on Sundays, at least. This is true even if you don't find a good church community, because it's good for the child to hear a sermon every once in a while. He'll sing songs to God, at least, and that's some profit. No matter how bad the churches in your area are, pick the least worst and attend it at least every sunday. If you find a good one, go three times a week so your child can be really well equipped to fight for the cause of Christ in his soul and in the world. Again, twin dragons.

Sixth, Hell. Now if you've been modelling Hell for the kid since he was really young, like we did, you've got a pretty good start on this foundation. Just start elaborating on what hell is and why they really don't want to go there. You don't have to lean too much on the Bible here, since God is creative and probably has anything you can think of in hell already, so you should really go for it with the details. Also, there are these dandy things called Hell Houses that educate children in extensive, scientific detail about what hell is and what happens there. Wonderful places. Now, if you didn't educate your child about hell from a really young age, it's not too late. Most of these children would still get a pretty deep impression from it if you burnt their toys or put them in a dark room. So go for it right now, before they get any older and their brains harden to Christ.

AGES SEVEN TO TWENTY

This is where you really cash in on your foundations. This is the age of doubt. While all the other parents are crying their eyes out over their little Jimmy who's become an atheist, your kids are holding strong on your six foundations. Since your kids become more autonomous at this age, there's not much to add except keep reinforcing your foundations. They'll figure everything else out on their own. I would know. I've been through this three times already.

I'm happy to add details or answer any questions anybody has.

Cheers,

Dan Handsome


Atheistextremist
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Hi Dan - welcome to the forum

 

That's a pretty funny piece you wrote there - congratulations if you did that by yourself. I especially liked the bit about the screaming and scratching on the door of the 2yo's dark room. Oh and burning the action figures and wearing horns, etc. Priceless.

I hope no one offers you a serious response and I also hope you stick around and treat us to some more of your work on a wider range of subjects. I loved this, too: "The least worst church in your area..." 

Sure you're not an atheist in drag, Dan?

 

P.S. Since when was the Discovery Institute a subsidiary of The Onion?

 

 

 

"Experiments are the only means of knowledge at our disposal. The rest is poetry, imagination." Max Planck


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If that large entry was true

If that large entry was true you are sick parent who should be shot,

If not than very funny