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Old 05-10-2014, 03:47 AM
 
Location: 'greater' Buffalo, NY
3,067 posts, read 2,112,192 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nana053 View Post
Hinduism is big in modern India with many of the people being quite superstitious, but Hinduism does not assume gods who walk the earth in modern times. My dil is Hindu and her dad gave up meat in order to ask his gods to cure my grandson's autism (didn't work, of course, but it made him feel better). He is an educated man - a medical doctor who lives here in the US. Everything his large Indian family in India does is centered on astrological dates that are propitious for whatever activity they are planning. For example, my dil and ds had to be married on a certain date. The kids had to have names with specific initials too. Could be one reason why they are now divorced given that my ds is atheist. Dil is really only culturally Hindu, but her dad and mom are practicing and go to Temple often.
Definitely appreciate this informative if anecdotal post. "Informative if anecdotal" is about the best we can aspire to on message boards, given (I guess? Certainly true for me) that our inclination is to not post statistics at the expense of anecdotes. Given stan4's wording in post #74, I almost assume it must be Hinduist dogma that gods "will not walk the earth in modern times" or somesuch. Is that so, or did you just borrow/adapt his/her wording? Or given the entirely different cosmology of Hindus is it fair to say that we have a nation of 1.237 billion who largely hold theological beliefs but behave as if they're Buddhists (see: nirvana, reincarnation, etc), given the "cyclical" nature of the universe and beliefs in reincarnation?

In any event, I thought it was in fact fair for me to assume that 2014 India's populace at large wasn't some bastion of atheistic enlightenment, and I am not yet led to believe that to be so.
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Old 05-10-2014, 10:21 AM
 
Location: CA
2,464 posts, read 5,826,712 times
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To the OP. Personally, I haven't told my kid there is no god. If my kids ask about god, I tell them, "God is different things to different people." Ultimately, I don't want to be like many religious people and indoctrinate them to think like me in a philosophical sense. Their mind is their own. I just don't feel comfortable shaping my kid to be atheist as - to me- it wouldn't make me any different than those holy rollers that insist they "know" the ultimate truth of the universe. What I do is arm them with information so, I have an "Action Bible" so they can read religious stories but we question the reality of it and I think they should know religious stories (just like we study Norse, Greek, and Roman myths). I buy them books on evolution that's age appropriate as well. There will be people in their lives who will be adamant about what is "truth" but they should think for themselves. That is my gift to them. They know I don't believe in gods or supernatural beings of any sort but I make sure they know that they can believe what they want (just don't become an obtuse holy roller freak... I think that would concern me I admit).

This hasn't been easy for me. On one hand I don't want them to become theist. I don't want them to be tolerant of antiquated ideologies that promote subjugation of gays and women. So I promote women's rights and gay rights in my home so they aren't tolerant of this aspect of religion. On the other hand, I think there's some benefits of being a theist - of believing in a higher power. Namely, the ability to deal with life because you (think) you have a superpower sky daddy that has your back, to have comfort that this isn't over when you die, to believe you will see your loved ones again. Even if it's not true, it can make like easier to a degree. So, maybe in a way I'm skirting the choice and letting them choose for my own selfish reasons. But I think that's better than having no choice.
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Old 05-10-2014, 12:03 PM
 
Location: Greenbelt, MD
8,972 posts, read 6,509,659 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mommabear2 View Post
To the OP. Personally, I haven't told my kid there is no god. If my kids ask about god, I tell them, "God is different things to different people." Ultimately, I don't want to be like many religious people and indoctrinate them to think like me in a philosophical sense. Their mind is their own. I just don't feel comfortable shaping my kid to be atheist as - to me- it wouldn't make me any different than those holy rollers that insist they "know" the ultimate truth of the universe. What I do is arm them with information so, I have an "Action Bible" so they can read religious stories but we question the reality of it and I think they should know religious stories (just like we study Norse, Greek, and Roman myths). I buy them books on evolution that's age appropriate as well. There will be people in their lives who will be adamant about what is "truth" but they should think for themselves. That is my gift to them. They know I don't believe in gods or supernatural beings of any sort but I make sure they know that they can believe what they want (just don't become an obtuse holy roller freak... I think that would concern me I admit).

This hasn't been easy for me. On one hand I don't want them to become theist. I don't want them to be tolerant of antiquated ideologies that promote subjugation of gays and women. So I promote women's rights and gay rights in my home so they aren't tolerant of this aspect of religion. On the other hand, I think there's some benefits of being a theist - of believing in a higher power. Namely, the ability to deal with life because you (think) you have a superpower sky daddy that has your back, to have comfort that this isn't over when you die, to believe you will see your loved ones again. Even if it's not true, it can make like easier to a degree. So, maybe in a way I'm skirting the choice and letting them choose for my own selfish reasons. But I think that's better than having no choice.
I don't understand your last line.

Of course there are choices when it comes to children being raised like this. The "no choice" comes from religious people. like my parents. I had no choice when forced to go to Catholic church every Sunday throughout my childhood.

I have a friend who is Jewish and he married a Christian. They raised 2 children just like you did. I have no idea if either of them believe or not but they appear to have not bought into the religious garbage.
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Old 05-10-2014, 03:26 PM
 
Location: CA
2,464 posts, read 5,826,712 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John13 View Post
I don't understand your last line.

Of course there are choices when it comes to children being raised like this. The "no choice" comes from religious people. like my parents. I had no choice when forced to go to Catholic church every Sunday throughout my childhood.

I have a friend who is Jewish and he married a Christian. They raised 2 children just like you did. I have no idea if either of them believe or not but they appear to have not bought into the religious garbage.
Okay, well I'll clarify why I put in that last line.

I don't think it's fair to snatch kids up when they are vulnerable and stick them in Sunday school to be conditioned to believe in their parents way of thinking. So I agree with you that religious people don't offer their kids a choice. Although there are very liberal religious people who don't force their kids of course (and I hate to make this obvious statement but there's always someone on City Data to point out "hey, not ALL religious people do this!" so I'm throwing that in there because I just don't want to talk to those people).

With that, if you had atheist parents who are actively trying to raise you as an atheist, are you (as a child) given a choice in the matter to develop your own thoughts vs. what your parents tell you? Granted, you're not being forced to go to an atheist school every Sunday or being forced to study Richard Dawkins hopefully. But if you are being groomed to think "there is no god" from a young age. Is that a choice? I'm thinking not. Choices usually don't involve absolutes. Not to say that one can't break from that as many on this forum can attribute. So, I think teaching the kids HOW to think and not WHAT to think when it comes to the god issue allows them to draw their own conclusions (which they just might do regardless).

Now, my cousin is raising his children to be atheist (or at least he can try). His children will have no choice but to listen to his beliefs on the matter. Granted there is no church to drag the kids to, but there is an atmosphere of anti-religion in his house from his wife and himself. That's not a choice for the kids to me. That's him pushing his views on his kids. He makes it very clear he hates religion and I'm thinking that if he continues on this path, his kids will be afraid to tell their dad "hey, I found Jesus." With someone like my cousin, it would be like telling a Southern Baptist father "I'm gay!" Of course how he raises his kids is his choice and I prefer that over him raising his kids to become little Jesus Freaks but I question his methods nonetheless.

I fully admit I'd be disappointed if they became a Catholic/Baptist/Muslim or any hick religion. I have to fight the urge to keep my mouth shut about the absurdities that religion poses.
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Old 05-10-2014, 04:25 PM
 
Location: Greenbelt, MD
8,972 posts, read 6,509,659 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mommabear2 View Post
Okay, well I'll clarify why I put in that last line.

I don't think it's fair to snatch kids up when they are vulnerable and stick them in Sunday school to be conditioned to believe in their parents way of thinking. So I agree with you that religious people don't offer their kids a choice. Although there are very liberal religious people who don't force their kids of course (and I hate to make this obvious statement but there's always someone on City Data to point out "hey, not ALL religious people do this!" so I'm throwing that in there because I just don't want to talk to those people).

With that, if you had atheist parents who are actively trying to raise you as an atheist, are you (as a child) given a choice in the matter to develop your own thoughts vs. what your parents tell you? Granted, you're not being forced to go to an atheist school every Sunday or being forced to study Richard Dawkins hopefully. But if you are being groomed to think "there is no god" from a young age. Is that a choice? I'm thinking not. Choices usually don't involve absolutes. Not to say that one can't break from that as many on this forum can attribute. So, I think teaching the kids HOW to think and not WHAT to think when it comes to the god issue allows them to draw their own conclusions (which they just might do regardless).

Now, my cousin is raising his children to be atheist (or at least he can try). His children will have no choice but to listen to his beliefs on the matter. Granted there is no church to drag the kids to, but there is an atmosphere of anti-religion in his house from his wife and himself. That's not a choice for the kids to me. That's him pushing his views on his kids. He makes it very clear he hates religion and I'm thinking that if he continues on this path, his kids will be afraid to tell their dad "hey, I found Jesus." With someone like my cousin, it would be like telling a Southern Baptist father "I'm gay!" Of course how he raises his kids is his choice and I prefer that over him raising his kids to become little Jesus Freaks but I question his methods nonetheless.

I fully admit I'd be disappointed if they became a Catholic/Baptist/Muslim or any hick religion. I have to fight the urge to keep my mouth shut about the absurdities that religion poses.
I really have to wonder how many children are being raised by atheist parents who bring up non-belief everyday. I doubt many and that was my point.

Where as most religious parents make their children say grace before they eat and make them say prayers at night. I had to do both. And then came church on Sunday and Sunday school. I don't think that happens in atheist households - spending time during the day praising non-belief and damning the god idea. If I ever raised children the subject will only rarely come up. There is no god and that's that. No need to go on daily ramblings about it.
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Old 05-10-2014, 08:07 PM
 
Location: Florida
4,515 posts, read 3,923,413 times
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I laugh at the concept that not teaching kids about religion is somehow a terrible thing. Children have no inborn idea of any religious concept. Simply not introducing the idea means that they continue in the same state they were born. We all start as atheists. Atheism is our natural state. It is the theists that do the indoctrination.
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Old 05-11-2014, 09:01 AM
 
Location: CA
2,464 posts, read 5,826,712 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John13 View Post
I really have to wonder how many children are being raised by atheist parents who bring up non-belief everyday. I doubt many and that was my point.

Where as most religious parents make their children say grace before they eat and make them say prayers at night. I had to do both. And then came church on Sunday and Sunday school. I don't think that happens in atheist households - spending time during the day praising non-belief and damning the god idea. If I ever raised children the subject will only rarely come up. There is no god and that's that. No need to go on daily ramblings about it.
No I don't think that non-belief or rituals are brought up daily in atheist households because that nonsense is cut out. But if an atheist is telling there kid, "there is no god" to the god question, if they are teaching them to think "their" way, then that's not teaching them to question what they are told, that's teaching them what to think. I would think that kids would be more likely to stay out of the clutches of religion and/or twinkle ding dong quackery if they are taught to question what they are told and allowed to come to their own conclusions.
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Old 05-11-2014, 12:44 PM
 
Location: Summit, NJ
1,462 posts, read 1,372,570 times
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Didn't read the whole thread, so this may have been asked already, but...what did your wife think of this?

You said her family's side is Catholic, but you didn't say whether she had any religious beliefs. I personally agree with what you told your son, but I hope you consulted your wife first.
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Old 05-11-2014, 01:06 PM
 
Location: The backwoods of Pennsylvania ... unfortunately.
5,846 posts, read 3,361,010 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kab0906 View Post
I laugh at the concept that not teaching kids about religion is somehow a terrible thing. Children have no inborn idea of any religious concept. Simply not introducing the idea means that they continue in the same state they were born. We all start as atheists. Atheism is our natural state. It is the theists that do the indoctrination.
Well, yes and no.

I disagree in part because atheism is a conscious rejection of a belief but children are simply ignorant of religions, gods, and all of the dogma that goes along with it.

I agree in that children do not subscribe to any particular religion, worship any particular gods, or have much of a notion about any of that since so much of it is abstract.

I do know that most American kids are exposed to religion from an early age - going to Sunday school or being made to say prayers at dinner or before going to bed, etc. To children, Jesus and God can seem very real just as Santa and the tooth fairy seem very real. This is why many atheists think it is reprehensible to indoctrinate kids into religion before they are old enough to actually think about their choices.

By the time most kids reach the age where they can understand the complicated precepts and tenets of religion, they're already so comfortable with a specific religion that they aren't even curious about other religions much less the possibility that it's all a bunch of malarchy.

Not giving a child the choice between religions - or even to be non-religious - is child abuse according to some. While I don't go quite that far, I do think it is bad parenting. Religion should be a personal decision, not a lesson in indoctrination and brainwashing.
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Old 05-11-2014, 04:55 PM
 
638 posts, read 478,776 times
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I think it would be fun to raise a five-year-old to believe that the family toaster is god, and just kind of see what happens.

Don't judge.
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