"i am raising my kids to be atheist" is my quote, but they don't even know the term atheism yet. they merely know that i don't believe in God and that i'd gladly change my view if presented with scientific evidence. they have a very basic understanding of what the scientific method is, so as they get older i can expand upon it to help them understand my thinking. but right now they have just a rudimentary understanding of the concept that some people refer to as God, but that their belief is wholly based on faith and not on evidence. i don't tell them that people use God as a crutch in a spiteful manner; rather, i tell them that religion can be as a crutch and that some people going through hard times even find religion to actually be beneficial. i don't bad mouth religion in front of my kids as i certainly don't want them to repeat anything that they can't understand enough to discuss with whomever would hear them repeat it. i might be guilty of explaining how some people use religion to justify blowing themselves up or shooting an abortion doctor, etc. so in this sense, i am certainly not a religion cheerleader, but i don't make it a point to denigrate religion.<br><br>finally, if they ask about God i don't think it's unreasonable to say that there is no evidence that a God or many gods exist and this is largely why we don't even teach it in public schools as truth. <br><br>
<blockquote><font size=1>In reply to:</font><hr><p><br>And unequivocally, I think that is as wrong as someone pushing God on their kid.<p><hr></blockquote><p> Since I am in the same boat I will answer this too. <br><br>Bullshi[i][/i]t. I do not push anything on my kids except the truth as verifiable by observation and logic. Once they stopped believing in Santa Claus I also stopped pushing any fantasies on them. I cannot make that sound any less pompous or righteous or any other condescending word you can think up.<br>Sorry, I can't change the wording because those words are true.<br><br><br><br><br><br><br><br><br>
Well, my response was more for Sean than you. If you don't push atheism on your kid than it is not an issue with me. (And just to make it clear, pushing the other way rankles me just as much.)<br><br>While we are on the subject, did you have much to do with your kids' belief in Santa Claus? Because to be honest the whole Santa Claus things has always bugged me. He is as much of a postulated super being as any of the others. I don't see why he is any less of an impediment just because kids find out eventually that he is a myth. My mother never tried to make SC real for me, and I was always skeptical (back from when I can remember anyway). However, my son's pre-school was very determined about keeping this myth alive as long as possible (they even sent out a letter to parents saying so in so many words). I thought about telling my son there is no Santa Claus (of this one I am sure) but I knew it would cause more problems than not at preschool, so I just stayed away from the issue. He figured it out on his own anyway, and faster than most kids (probably because my wife and I never perpetuated the myth at home).<br><br>We are what we repeatedly do. -Aristotle
_________________________ We are what we repeatedly do - Aristotle
Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, and the Tooth Fairy I think are perfectly fine for kids. For one they are not going to build an entire belief system around one of those fairy tales as there are built in brakes. Older brothers will tell, that sort of thing. (There are not a bunch of Easter Bunny priests ready to snatch your kid and convince them to pray to the Easter bunny.) I never pushed these three fairy tales but if my kids wanted to believe then I was the first to make sure the carrots left for the reindeer were eaten by morning, the Gin left for Santa was drained, and that there were muddy footprints that looked like tiny reindeer. But if they asked me if it was real I told them the truth but it was OK to make believe because it was just a fairy tale kind of thing.<br><br>When God was brought up by the proselytizing neighbor friend I could treat it in almost the same way but in a less jovial way. She believed in this fantasy and it is better just to let them believe it and don't let them bug you about it because you did not believe in magic or fairy tales about a Supreme Being who made the world and is waiting in heaven on a cloud for you.<br><br>I do have to make it seem like the truth is the more attractive viewpoint but that is not very hard to do considering how ridiculous it is to believe in heaven and God and all that. So really I don't push anything but the truth. There is no ideology, no atheism is just another religion. No, religion is fantasy and made up stories to make people feel better and calling all this BS what it is, mumbo-jumbo is just the plain old truth.<br><br>I can see how a religious person gets upset when they hear this. Do they think just by knowing an atheist exists in their midst somehow makes their chance to get to heaven less so? Absurdity piles on top of absurdity.<br><br>The one part that gives me the warm and fuzzies about all this is the exit interviews that cult members give after they are rescued from the religious cult. Invariably their childhood was spent in a religious atmosphere. One where they figured out their parents didn't even believe the BS and so they in this mixed up state went off to find the true path and instead land up with David Koresh or they become a Mormon or some other weirdo sect maybe even a Methodist. These are parents that say, "Oh, go ahead sweetie, go and believe any weirdo idea you want because we believe in weirdo stuff too but not quite sure." They go try to find parents that are not wishy-washy and will not lie to them and they are preyed upon by all sorts of sick religious nut bars. Their parents always seem quite normal except for a bit of weird sporadic bible banging type behavior which to our President is completely normal so it is looked upon with a great way to raise kids.<br><br>Did you ever read an interview of the parent's of the American Taliban? "Oh we let him go think anything he wanted, whatever religion was OK by us." What a bunch of stupid as[i][/i]ses. <br><br>So I may come off as being very intolerant of religions and I am. I will tolerate them if they leave me alone but they rarely do. And since they are a scourge on humanity from polygamists, to Koresh, to the Green River killer, to the babies with arms cut off, to the World Trade Center and suicide bombers. It is very hard to be tolerant when they create wars and the Iraq War is now a purely religious war. The middle east is a string of past and future wars all about religion. <br><br>If they only knew that fighting about who's God is better is so absurd when I know that the Invisible Pink Unicorn (bbhhh) is the best and only God.<br><br><br><br><br><br><br><br><br><br><br><br><br><br><br><br>
<blockquote><font size=1>In reply to:</font><hr><p>I will tolerate them if they leave me alone but they rarely do. And since they are a scourge on humanity from polygamists, to Koresh, to the Green River killer, to the babies with arms cut off, to the World Trade Center and suicide bombers. It is very hard to be tolerant when they create wars and the Iraq War is now a purely religious war. The middle east is a string of past and future wars all about religion. <p><hr></blockquote><p>And so I guess my post about this being a MAN thing and not a religion thing doesn't apply here?<br><br>I'm afraid it does. God doesn't bother you, that's man knocking on your door. God doesn't start wars, that's man. Just because someone hides behind the face of religion doesn't mean they are doing God's work.<br><br>How come you have a hard time separating the two? <br><br>my beer blog<br><P ID="edit"><FONT SIZE=-1><EM>Edited by OSXaddict on 09/10/07 09:21 PM (server time).</EM></FONT></P>
my son believes in santa claus and the tooth fairy. i struggled with this one for both of my kids, but like Poly said . . . kids are not going to develop a whole belief system around these characters of fiction -- and, a kid can't really use this belief in a harmful way to others or interpret it in manner that is evil. and, once they learn the truth as my 2nd grade daughter has, i used this revelation as a teachable moment to explain that her previous immature belief in these super natural characters is exactly how large segments of society can believe in a God with no evidence -- because we want it to be true as it seems like such a good thing that we put faith in it. at least kids have what they perceive to be evidence that Santa and the tooth fairy exist since kids receive gifts and notes, etc. specifically from these characters -- they can even see Santa at the mall. plus, the kids' brains are not developed enough to really cipher out the truth even though they may be skeptical from an early age. i say i struggled and in the end, i decided i didn't want to be the father of the kids who ruined it for the other kids. but, my daughter is in 2nd grade and she no longer believes, but she's not telling her little brother yet. perhaps this winter???<br><br>
<blockquote><font size=1>In reply to:</font><hr><p>And so I guess my post about this being a MAN thing and not a religion thing doesn't apply here?<br><br>I'm afraid it does. God doesn't bother you, that's man knocking on your door. God doesn't start wars, that's man. Just because someone hides behind the face of religion doesn't mean they are doing God's work.<br><br>How come you have a hard time separating the two? <p><hr></blockquote><p>Simply because you ask an absurd question of someone who does not believe in any Supreme Being. God does not exist without man because God is a complete invention of man. So what is left? Man. The man who wrote the bible, created religions out of whole cloth, subjugated people with the power of this made up religion, started wars because of religion, ethnically cleansed because of religion and for God. All for this fictitious God.<br><br>Your question makes as much sense to me as "Can't you separate all the good things that people do in the name of the Easter bunny from all the bad things that man does in the name of the Easter Bunny?<br><br>Without this MAN <sic> thing there is no God thing. There is no religion.<br>But I am afraid we are so not on the same page I may as well be speaking Swahili.<br><br>If in the simplest terms you are asking "can I separate men who do good thing with religion from people who bad things with religion" than sure, I can do that. Good people can do whatever they want. Bad people who use religion to exploit others really sucks. George Bush is a prime example. Mother Theresa is an example of the opposite in some ways although she did keep the peasants from trying to revolt which they should have because she gave them eternal bliss after death which is one mean trick on her part. Accept your groveling stature and don't cause trouble. <br><br>So you see, I have a hard time finding tons of good in this God thing of yours. With or without man. What is God without man? A dude on a cloud who is extremely bored with nothing to do. Sorry, joke.<br><br>God does not exist without man because God is an invention of man. I should have just typed that sentence.<br><br><br><br><br><br><br><br>
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