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Old 05-14-2014, 05:11 PM
 
Location: "Arlen" Texas
2,384 posts, read 1,559,961 times
Reputation: 9255

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This kind of thing shouldn't be difficult, but only is because of naive believers. I would say don't beat yourself up, too much. Or maybe present it more as some people believe this, some people believe that. That's a toughie.
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Old 05-14-2014, 09:19 PM
 
40,117 posts, read 26,779,715 times
Reputation: 6051
Quote:
Originally Posted by Natural510 View Post
I have a two-year old son and plan to tell him (when he asks) I don't believe in any god, but he can make his own choices. It's not fair for me to impose my atheism on him any more than it's fair for other parents to impose religious beliefs on their children.
Quote:
Originally Posted by scwilder View Post
I didn't read all 12 pages but with ours, and it helps that the school teaches all religion, we let them explore on their own. Our oldest is 10 and she's asked me a few times when she was younger. I told her that while my husband and I don't believe in religion, it doesn't mean that she shouldn't if it's something she believes in. There's no right or wrong as long one's happy and is a good humane being. I told her that some people need religion to help them be nice, to make them feel hopeful about the after life, or to feel like they are a part of a group. If she feels like she needs to believe then go ahead. I told her I'd take her to any building. But if she doesn't believe, it's ok. I told her that while we're not religious, I believe that there is something wonderful out there. Maybe it's God, aliens, spirits, the spaghetti monster, who knows, but life and the world is too beautiful to be such a cosmic coincidence

And she still believes in Santa although last Christmas may be her last... She seems a bit wiser. We'll see this coming Christmas We let our kids believe whatever until they tell us they don't think it's real.
These are the kinds of attitudes I was attempting to elicit. Your children are very fortunate.
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Old 05-15-2014, 12:35 AM
 
7,802 posts, read 5,285,422 times
Reputation: 2973
Quote:
Originally Posted by jambo101 View Post
I think feeling the need to deny young kids the natural fantasies that come with childhood things like Santa etc is something you should be ashamed of John.
Thankfully however there is no need for John to be ashamed, and no reason to lend what you are asserting here even a modicum of credence. To repeat: Nothing about indulging the natural fantasies and imagination of children requires you sell them any fantasy as "real". Quite the opposite in fact.

So save your shame for yourself, and your penchant for judging the parental abilities of others based on a complete misconception of your own. Divest yourself of this misconception you live off that a child has to not know make believe IS make believe in order to enjoy it or benefit from it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jambo101 View Post
Easter egg hunts.Halloween How do you suppose a kid is going to feel at one of these events if dad has told them its all based on lies and deceit its not real..
The same fun as any other kid. They do not need to think it is real in order to indulge the fantasy, indulge the game, and indulge the chase. The fun is there, nothing is lost by not lying to them.
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Old 05-15-2014, 05:31 AM
 
Location: Florida
4,514 posts, read 3,921,774 times
Reputation: 9927
The misconceptions about how atheists raise their kids would be laughable if it wasn't scary/sad.

I already said - we don't do god/santa/easter bunny but that doesn't mean my DD had no sense of fantasy or wonder. Make believe is part of developmental growth - all kids do it. She spent hours with her doll house, making her dolls move and acting out stories. She drew pictures of characters and told their story when she showed them to me.

Nos is correct - we don't have to lie and tell our children that fantasy creatures are real in order for them to have imagination.
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Old 05-16-2014, 07:28 PM
 
Location: California
30,710 posts, read 33,507,042 times
Reputation: 26138
When I was a kid people had to explain the concept of god to me and I still didn't get it. I remember when I was around 10 and a friend was trying to tell me what a "soul" was and how it went somewhere my body didn't after I died.

Nope, I never had god belief. Probably because I didn't have a religious upbringing of any sort. Either did my two kids, they had to wait until they were teens to experience what Christianity, and church, were all about. My daughter did attend chapel in preschool (Lutheran) but didn't really know what was going on.
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Old 05-20-2014, 02:24 PM
 
Location: 'greater' Buffalo, NY
3,067 posts, read 2,111,656 times
Reputation: 3965
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shirina View Post
Equating God with Santa in this kind of situation is disingenuous.

The reason is pretty straighforward. When your children reach the age where they begin doubting Santa, what do you tell them? Do you encourage them to keep believing? Do you tell them that Santa will be angry if you doubt him and won't bring you presents next year?

I ask this because I'd be curious to hear what you told your children when they began asking questions about God.

Because, as you well know, we as a society actually discourage children from bringing a belief in Santa or the Easter Bunny into late childhood or early adolescence. If they cling to these beliefs for too long, the child might be sent to counseling or some other more extreme measure to shake him of believing in those fantasies.

Yet do we do this with God? Of course not. We tend to let kids believe in God all they wish for as long as they wish - and in this country, there are plenty of others out there who will try to encourage that belief, as well.
No condescending pat on the head for this comment...good post.
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Old 05-20-2014, 02:37 PM
 
Location: 'greater' Buffalo, NY
3,067 posts, read 2,111,656 times
Reputation: 3965
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nozzferrahhtoo View Post
The fact is that you are asserting a "should" in post #59 and I am merely asking whether there is any substantiation that this "should" carries in reality.... especially given the reality does not appear to match your ruminations on the subject.

And aside from posturing yourself as feeling yourself to be superior I am not seeing any attempt to support the assertion on your part.
The "should" I asserted in post 59 is based on logic. Your prior post pushed a "should" of your own based on an appeal to the (atheistic) masses. The entire argument reduces to the middle paragraph of post 58 vs. post 59.

I did not/do not attempt to contest the fact that you have a pulse on the atheistic masses' (read: the easily adopting "good without god" crowd, the people who think that disavowing god = end of philosophical thought) "reality". But reality as in, you know, reality? I like to think I fare decently well there.
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Old 05-21-2014, 12:40 AM
 
7,802 posts, read 5,285,422 times
Reputation: 2973
Quote:
Originally Posted by Matt Marcinkiewicz View Post
The "should" I asserted in post 59 is based on logic. Your prior post pushed a "should" of your own based on an appeal to the (atheistic) masses. The entire argument reduces to the middle paragraph of post 58 vs. post 59.
This is another nonsense paragraph from you. The fact still remains that you declared "cognitive dissonance that should surely overwhelm" and substantiated this with NOTHING AT ALL except to tell everyone how much you feel superior to other atheists.

That is quite literally it. You supported it with nothing but telling everyone how great you yourself think you yourself are.

Telling people how great you think yourself to be does NOT evidence assertions you feel like trotting out. But if you were even 10% as smart as you claim you think you are, you would already know that wouldnt you.
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Old 05-23-2014, 08:03 PM
 
Location: TX
6,491 posts, read 5,244,242 times
Reputation: 2619
Never say never, but I hope I never tell my son point blank "God is not real" because, well, I do not know that.

If I'm going to use honesty as my excuse for telling him something, I will have to settle for "*deep breath* I personally do not believe in a god. I don't believe that he/she/it is real or fake. I just don't have an opinion on it, to be honest with you, son. You are free to believe anything you wish, however. Just make sure whatever you're believing isn't causing you to hurt yourself or other people.

...

Same goes for Santa. I don't know if he's real but *another deep breath*... your mother and I have done the math and we have most certainly given you more presents than Santa, so far."
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Old 05-24-2014, 09:49 AM
 
19,950 posts, read 13,643,840 times
Reputation: 1973
I feel bad for the kid. Why not at least let him form a decision on it? That's not very open-minded of you.
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