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Old 05-30-2014, 01:40 AM
 
Location: Ohio
5,626 posts, read 5,081,685 times
Reputation: 6766

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My children have never believed in Santa but they do believe in God. I will use the Santa example here. We did not tell them he wasnt real or that he was pretend. We simply dont celebrate Christmas so there never was a fat jolly man bringing anything. They have asked about the guy at the mall and we simply tell the truth. "It is a person dressed up and that there are some kids who DO believe he is real so let their mommy and daddy tell them that, not you. "

I think you handled the situation the best for you.
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Old 05-30-2014, 03:24 AM
 
3,637 posts, read 2,701,567 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MysticPhD View Post
I agree. There is no logical or scientific basis for a lack of belief in God.
Yes there is. The logical basis for a lack of belief in somethings follows naturally from the lack of any reason to believe it. You tell us over and over you think there is a god. You have not once - ever - given a basis for such a belief except that you felt it was so one day while dreaming.
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Old 05-30-2014, 06:18 AM
 
Location: TX
6,491 posts, read 5,245,374 times
Reputation: 2619
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nozzferrahhtoo View Post
By your watery standards, telling them there is no monster under the bed is no less "pushing your preference onto a kid" than telling them there is no god. You just distinguish between the two by giving a motivation for the former which you feel justifies it.

Which is exactly the bias I was referring to in my previous post. You are doing the SAME THING in both cases, but you use personal justification of your own motivations to validate one and not the other, and make them "different" in your mind when they are in fact the _exact same thing_ performed from the _exact same premises_.
"Parent first" says it all. If I see a real reason to make an exception to any given rule, I will of course make it for my child. Tell me, why should I go about telling him there is no god (not to be confused with "You're not going to burn in Hell for all eternity")?

Quote:
Originally Posted by monumentus View Post
Yes there is. The logical basis for a lack of belief in somethings follows naturally from the lack of any reason to believe it. You tell us over and over you think there is a god. You have not once - ever - given a basis for such a belief except that you felt it was so one day while dreaming.
I actually agree with you here; there is a logical basis for not believing in a deity/deities. One might even say it's more logical to believe "There is no god" than to believe there is one. But to announce it as fact? Why? What's to be gained, besides pushing them down into the box that is your (general "you") preconceived ideal for what you think they should be (i.e., being no better, really, than the stereotypical Christian parent). There are few beliefs in life we know not to be true or false, decisions we know not to be right or wrong; why not let kids have authority in those few beliefs/decisions?
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Old 05-30-2014, 07:42 AM
 
39,217 posts, read 10,895,806 times
Reputation: 5097
Quote:
Originally Posted by MysticPhD
I agree. There is no logical or scientific basis for a lack of belief in God.
Quote:
Originally Posted by monumentus View Post
Yes there is. The logical basis for a lack of belief in somethings follows naturally from the lack of any reason to believe it. You tell us over and over you think there is a god. You have not once - ever - given a basis for such a belief except that you felt it was so one day while dreaming.
I don't know why Mystic keeps saying stuff like this. The logical and scientific basis for not believing in what is not known for sure is not only obviously correct, but he has agreed it before, with the reservation that I and he disagree about the evidence for 'God'. But if it doesn't convince, then he HAS accepted that out logical and 'scientific' (evidence - based) position is valid and sound - from our point of view.

From his point of view, I have pointed out that his hypothesis is clever but hypothetical, the philosophical arguments are...arguable, and the efforts to replace the materialistic default with a spiritual default have failed.

We have also seen efforts to argue for the validity of 'revelation' as it is called, which should send the alarm -bells ringing if only because the results of revelation are so fiercely argued on the Christianity forum, each bod claiming that his revelation is the true one and all the others are misinterpreting it.

Like I say, I don't know why Mystic keeps making these statements.

Last edited by TRANSPONDER; 05-30-2014 at 07:51 AM..
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Old 05-30-2014, 01:47 PM
 
122 posts, read 79,806 times
Reputation: 23
so nobodies figured this out yet,

how is a discussion with a little kid saying , I don't believe there to be a creator, in any way its told , not complaining about the whole existence -to a little kid ? so what and who is the exchange really all about.

Last edited by Drew K; 05-30-2014 at 01:59 PM..
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Old 05-30-2014, 01:49 PM
 
Location: Chicago
38,690 posts, read 89,269,992 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Drew K View Post
how is a discussion with a little kid saying , I don't believe in a creator, in any way its told , not complaining about the whole existence to a little kid ?

so what and who is the exchange really all about ?
Uhm... what?
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Old 05-30-2014, 02:02 PM
 
122 posts, read 79,806 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Drover View Post
Uhm... what?
saying yuh think there is no god to a little kid, is complaining about the world -to a little kid.
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Old 05-30-2014, 02:51 PM
 
3,404 posts, read 2,253,561 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Drew K View Post
saying yuh think there is no god to a little kid, is complaining about the world -to a little kid.
I don't see how you come up with this... Explaining that Harry Potter is a fictional character, that the My Little Pony characters aren't "real", or explaining that there is not a God holding the world together are just explanations of the world around us. None of it involved complaining...

Maybe you can explain your reasoning on this one?

-NoCapo
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Old 05-30-2014, 10:51 PM
 
122 posts, read 79,806 times
Reputation: 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by NoCapo View Post
I don't see how you come up with this... Explaining that Harry Potter is a fictional character, that the My Little Pony characters aren't "real", or explaining that there is not a God holding the world together are just explanations of the world around us. None of it involved complaining...

Maybe you can explain your reasoning on this one?

-NoCapo
could it be agreed above , has nothing to do with the topic in the talked about conversation ? ( or substantiated if otherwise ?

Iow, what has Harry Potter or any analogy got to do with the talked about conversation in OP ?

Is there a common ground deal with Harry Potter and god in the minds of youngsters, I don't get the approach at all,

again,

saying yuh think there is no god to a little kid, is complaining about the world -to a little kid.

( hint ...the why word. ( why wouldn't there be ?

I already informed, you need to be talented to translate these things, gifted. Yuh all had all week, including the odd theist and the BS.

Last edited by Drew K; 05-30-2014 at 11:08 PM..
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Old 05-30-2014, 11:22 PM
 
293 posts, read 207,930 times
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First of all O.P. I think you absolutely did the right thing. For the religious people on the board that disagree, I would like to point out that you actually waited until your 5 year old son asked which I thinks shows enormous constraint and is exactly opposite of what I would characterize as most (based only on my own experiences) Christians would do if their spouse and family were Atheists and they were a Christian.

In my family both my wife and I are atheists. We had the “god” topic brought up as early as age 2. Kids are quite astute and take in a lot more information than we give them credit for. Our child didn't ask about god, but simply why we didn't go to church, so we decided right then and there to tell her that there was no god. We gave a very through explanation about science and how we determine if something is real or not, but make no mistake we ended on the note that there was no god.

As my children have gotten older, we have shared more and more with them. By age 5 we were already discussing the scientific method and why that indicates there isn't a god. We were very honest in that most people don't agree with us. That their grandparents (my parents) completely disagreed with them and that they should listen to them and not argue with them. They are to go to church with them if they stay with them. But I also armed them with some of the more simplistic arguments they would hear and why they were wrong. Our 11 year old can easily debate just about anyone on religion now. But we also told them that this was a very personal topic and that to many people, they not only feel that god is real but it is their best friend. So they should not ever talk about their not being a god unless someone was trying to make them say otherwise.

I actually did read every post here and I did want to put forth a couple things to a few people that I agreed and disagreed with.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Matt Marcinkiewicz View Post
I dream of the day when the average five-year-old believes in Santa Claus but not god.
AMEN!!! O.K....cheap shot... just hast having fun but I do totally agree 100% I was fortunate enough to make this happen with 2 of my 3 children. When my youngest hit 5, she already knew there was no Santa Claus, but just kept quiet to get the extra presents.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vic 2.0 View Post
I've been posting and reading on these boards for years now, never once seen objective evidence (or even solid reasoning) to suggest there is no god of some kind out there/here. That's because nothing can be counted as objective evidence for/against the question. Most that's graced my computer screen is evidence that the Christian God isn't real, or at least that events didn't occur as described in the bible.

Therefore, I don't equate "There is no God" with anything that science has actually found facts to support.

Therefore, I don't plan on telling my son "There is no god".
I disagree with you Vic, maybe it's just semantics, because I understand where you are coming from. I agree that science can't prove or disprove god. But that would make parents have to say “There is no scientific evidence for _______” for everything instead of saying the truth of “there is/are no ________”. I couldn't tell my kids there are no pink polka dot unicorns on the moon. There's no scientific evidence that they don't exist other than we have not observed any but that doesn't mean it's true.

For me it does come down to semantics. But words mean a great deal and change an entire meaning by using a synonym. For example, I use the term atheist to describe myself, but I like to caveat it with the fact that for me it means I'm 99.9+% sure there is no god. I don't like using the term agnostic, even though it would be correct, but using it tends to indicate a neutral feeling about the existence of god...as if I just don't know if there is a god or no; when I have very strong feelings on the matter.

So I did tell my kids that there is no god, but correctly let them know it couldn't be proven or dis proven. My kids are well aware of the saying that extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence as I use it every time they say something I don't believe like “I don't need to study for that test”.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nozzferrahhtoo View Post
The fact however is that the vast majority of atheists seem in one hand to agree that life is indeed objectively "a meaningless struggle to survive" but in the other hand have zero issue at all with finding love, wonder, awe, happiness and meaning in that life.
I disagree that most atheists believe life is a meaningless struggle...and believe that you are making assumptions based on some of our claims. For example, I don't believe in any afterlife whatsoever as an atheist. So yes, after I die, there is nothing left of me except food for the flora and fauna at the bottom of the food chain to eat so that the circle of the food chain can continue. However, life is not meaningless. I want the same things most Christians want: my kids to grow up healthy and happy in whatever they choose to do. That means my life is dedicated to ensuring I give them every opportunity to succeed that I can. I want my kids to have the same freedoms I have had and hopefully more. I will also live on in every person my life touched whether directly or indirectly. It could be as an example of what to be to a good friend, hopefully a role model to my children and others, and for those that don't like me, even something not to emulate. There is no contradiction with finding love happiness or a meaning in life as an atheist.

As far as Dr Justin Barrett's book and papers on Children being born believing in God, I'll make two arguments. The first is that he completely admits to be a Christian, a creationist, and trying to prove the existence of god through his research. I'm just going to point this out as it is borderline on a straw man argument to say this because it is true I have no idea if his religious beliefs affected his work or not. However, I skimmed the first part of the book, and the news article does sensationalize his findings. His research into infants simply found that children so young that they are just learning to communicate have a cause/effect type mentality and that when they were presented with something that they didn't understand they attributed it to “someone made it happen”. When he talked about older children 5 to 10, I couldn't take anything he was saying, because there is so much that has directly and indirectly gone into their personality at this poing. I didn't' read the rest so I can't comment on if he makes other arguments or how he conects the dots, but it is definitely a weaker hypothesis than we believe in the Christian God from the start as the news article indicated.

OP – the last thing I'll add is that anyone that respects his spouses wishes, tells his child the truth when asks and finally asks other like minded people if he did the right thing is not just a good parent but a great one! The world would be much better off with people like you! Cheers.
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