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Old 03-23-2012, 12:18 AM
 
Location: San Gabriel Valley, CA
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Quote:
Originally Posted by imcurious View Post
I still don't understand why you have to give them a directive statement about your beliefs - unless they ask you I don't see the reason for it.
Do you have children, imcurious? If I start the "some people believe..." sentence, within 5 seconds they'll be asking me (at least the little one will), "What do you believe?"
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Old 03-23-2012, 12:23 AM
 
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I say why not give them something/someone to believe in aside from you. They already believe in you as mom and family and that will never go away. God can be a stranger that they believe in and trust in, when they die one day along time from now when you are already gone wouldnt you want them be thinking/believing that you are waiting for them in heaven and they will get to see you there again. Thats how i want my child to think, they will always have a safe place in their life when things get tough
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Old 03-23-2012, 12:24 AM
 
Location: NJ
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Good question. One I hadn't given much thought to. I have a 4.5 and a 1.5 year old. I'm sure it is only a matter of time.

I like the idea of the "some people believe" approach. And if asked simply say that I don't believe myself.
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Old 03-23-2012, 12:25 AM
 
Location: NJ
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AnimalRescue View Post
I say why not give them something/someone to believe in aside from you. They already believe in you as mom and family and that will never go away. God can be a stranger that they believe in and trust in, when they die one day along time from now when you are already gone wouldnt you want them be thinking/believing that you are waiting for them in heaven and they will get to see you there again. Thats how i want my child to think, they will always have a safe place in their life when things get tough
So can the invisible man and the tooth fairy.
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Old 03-23-2012, 12:49 AM
 
Location: earth?
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It just sounds like you are very nervous and shaky about your beliefs . . . If they ask about God or gods . . . there must be a book on the subject of what different people believe . . .and if they ask for your beliefs, tell them . . .or just say "no one really knows" or whatever.

Yes, I have children . . . we said prayers when they were small and there weren't a lot of questions.
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Old 03-23-2012, 01:37 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by manderly6 View Post
So can the invisible man and the tooth fairy.
They cant create the aspect of heaven, sorry to tell you. No need to make sarcastic remarks either. I believe, you dont have to, keep your pointless comments about this topic to yourself please
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Old 03-23-2012, 01:59 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AnimalRescue View Post
They cant create the aspect of heaven, sorry to tell you. No need to make sarcastic remarks either. I believe, you dont have to, keep your pointless comments about this topic to yourself please
You do understand that you are posting on the atheist/agnostic forum, don't you?

Since the OP is not a believer, s/he is asking how to answer questions from that perspective not from yours. Note, too, that religious folks tell their children what they believe and that they think these beliefs are the truth of the matter.

I am not surprised that your own children did not question since you were so sure that what you believe is true.
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Old 03-23-2012, 03:21 AM
 
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I am all for telling the children the truth as best you can.

If you think there is no reason at all to support the idea there is a god, then that is what you should tell a child who asks. By all means tell the child that some people believe it and seem to think there are reasons to believe it but they appear unable to tell anyone else what those reasons are. Ever. And quite often when they try to, the stuff they tell you turns out to be just made up.

Perhaps read up on the "fallacies" which lead people to think there is a god and teach the child about them too. Show the errors in thinking that lead to erroneous conclusions including, but not limited to, the idea there is a god. Teach them about confirmation bias, arguments from authority, arguments from invective, arguments ad populum and arguments from ignorance. Teach them about proving unfalsifiable negatives (you cant. Ever) and warm them about the type of person who backs up the idea there is a god with insult, abuse and threats.

All in all you can prepare your child for the real world in these ways anyway, it does not just have to be to protect them from infection with the god meme.
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Old 03-23-2012, 07:37 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JerZ View Post
Hey all!

Got a question.

I really don't (can't?) believe. It's not in me...I'm missing the God gene (or set of genes) or the...whatever. I tried for many years, even morphing "my" god into a goddess, then into a spirit...then into the earth...etc. Nope. Didn't work. I just don't believe it. It just seems 100% silly to me. BUT...I can see how it could be wonderful for some people. It must be nice never to feel alone, to feel you have this purpose, etc. When I first really embraced my atheism, that's the one thing I truly grieved over. I was just never going to be someone who had that emotional safety net.

I really don't know what to tell my children if they ever ask about God. I don't think they even know the word. They don't really know any Hebrew/Christian religious terms at all, actually. Nobody in my family or in my circle ever really uses them. Once in a while we catch something on History or Discovery about religion because I'm academically curious and so is my husband. Most often, these documentaries are Judeo/Christian, and that's what's mostly around us (in our town, etc.) so that's the God I'm thinking of in this question. But I guess it would apply to a belief in any god, really.

In fact, I wore "devil horns" (glittery ones--sue me, I'm a girl) for Halloween one year, and after I had put them away in the garage, my kids dug them up and pretended to be "a kitty." They have NO clue what a devil is, they don't even have a concept for it. (At that time my kids were 4 and 7.)

Important to note is that my older son has special needs. He has an intellectual disability and autism. (IOW, autistic plus what at one time was called mentally retarded or mentally disabled based on IQ; not all autistic people are.) So it's not as much of a surprise that he's never picked up on anything religious and asked about it.

My younger child, though emotionally pretty young for his age, is not autistic and is intellectually spot-on and he's the one I'm actually wondering more about. Right now, he is almost 6. His older brother is almost 9. But once he asks, guaranteed the older one will ask, too. They're peanut butter and jelly that way.

If they ask me about God, what should I say? I mean although I just don't believe, I know I could be wrong since it wouldn't exactly be the first time. And almost in a Santa Claus-esque way, I would hate to take that comfortable mythology from my children if they do have it in them to have such beliefs.

Any ideas would be so very welcome. Thanks much in advance.
indoctrinating children into a particular religon is a form of child abuse IMO , that said , its not practical to get into too complicated a discussion with kids about something as complicated as the universe , god etc , id tell them that people have different opinions on how life began and that its best to be open minded about such things
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Old 03-23-2012, 07:40 AM
 
4,879 posts, read 3,188,640 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JayBrown80 View Post
I am curious. What do you tell your children about the tooth fairy, santa claus, or the easter bunny?

I would imagine whatever your explanation is for that, would just as easily apply to "god".

If you tell them they aren't real, but people like to play pretend, then say that.

If you let your children think they are real, then why not just continue letting them belive whatever they believe?. If they are so young they still believe in santa claus then they are not old enough to grapple with metaphysical concepts.
the tooth fairy , santa claus and the easter bunny are exclusivley associated with possitivity and treats for kids , god is all about punishment if you dont do A,B,C
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