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Old 06-17-2014, 07:32 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Vic 2.0 View Post
Are you familiar with the debate going on among Christians as we speak, as to whether or not there is even a such place as Hell? I happened upon one of the debates on the Christianity board something like a year ago; it was an interesting read.
Oh, absolutely. But with the possible exception of my Dad (He has been inching toward Universalism, but he is still a biblical literalist so it is a lot like Eusebius) my entire family, the majority of my extended family, and almost everyone I grew up around believes in a literal eternal Hell, and believes that every single person deserves it because of Adam's sin. If my wife and I have kids, it is a given what kind of Christianity they will be bombarded with, and it is liable to have nasty consequences. I am not sure if my family can refrain from trying to save a child's soul by whatever means necessary, and I will not tolerate anyone doing to my child what was done to me. That is something I would cut ties over, if it became necessary. I don't think it would be a problem for my parents (the lure of grandchildren is strong!), but my siblings and extended family might be another matter.

Some of our best friends now are Christians, of varying denominations, but they have never made an issue of it. Most of them, while relatively devout, are also theologically more liberal. As long as they are not pushy, there is no problem. Most of them are immigrants, and they are usually shocked at American fundamentalism. They just don't get it, because to them that is not what Christianity is about. It is always a good reality check for me to talk with them, and remind myself that not all believers are 'fundamentalists'.

-NoCapo
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Old 06-17-2014, 07:35 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Vic 2.0 View Post
Oh, and I should think the more important question when/if your child finds it difficult to sleep for fear that a deity is going to get them would be, "Just who have you been talking to, that has seen to it that you automatically equate a god with something that's trying to kill, kidnap, or eat you?"
Oh, and for this part, in my case it is hard to tell. It could be my mom, my dad, my siblings, my uncles, aunts, cousins, or any of the friends I had in highschool, or and of my siblings' friends, and the list goes on... I grew up surrounded by that mentality, after all fear of God is the beginning of wisdom, you know...

-NoCapo
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Old 06-18-2014, 02:27 AM
 
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Vic. "How bout say this. Play on both questions in a similar fashion (since all questions have to be dealt with the exact same way, to make you happy). Say "I don't think there's a god/monster under your bed. But if there is, I don't think he/it is anything to be afraid of." Fair enough?"

I have got to honestly say that I do not think the kid would get much sleep that night. And I don't think the point is about whether the God, monster or indeed Santa is nasty or nice. It's about being honest with a kid who is old enough for reality.
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Old 06-18-2014, 05:26 AM
 
Location: TX
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Originally Posted by AREQUIPA View Post
Vic. "How bout say this. Play on both questions in a similar fashion (since all questions have to be dealt with the exact same way, to make you happy). Say "I don't think there's a god/monster under your bed. But if there is, I don't think he/it is anything to be afraid of." Fair enough?"

I have got to honestly say that I do not think the kid would get much sleep that night. And I don't think the point is about whether the God, monster or indeed Santa is nasty or nice. It's about being honest with a kid who is old enough for reality.
But Nozz demands consistency. And I don't consider the bold claim that "There is no god" a dose of reality.
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Old 06-18-2014, 06:31 AM
 
Location: Guangzhou, China
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I teach kids in China and it's interesting; religion is a very minor concern to most people here. There are more spiritual superstitions than there are religious beliefs present in most people and that passes down to their kids.

Even the few religious people I know here tend to keep the matter to themselves, since going on at length about or repeatedly professing/affirming your faith is looked down upon.

My kids are happy, creative, excited, fascinated with the world. The idea that raising your kids without Santa, The Easter Bunny, or God deprives them of an enjoyable and fruitful childhood is absurd. Kids will generally find childhood enjoyable so long as they are allowed to by the adults around them and their curiosity, imagination, and creativity are fostered. I actually meet exponentially fewer unhappy or depressed young people here than I did back in the States. The reasons behind it are so myriad that you could write a thesis on it, but I find the lack of religion in society to be an interesting element to ponder as it applies here.
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Old 06-18-2014, 06:37 AM
 
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Originally Posted by AREQUIPA View Post
Yes, I can see that is sound.

Of course, one has to bear in mind that many unbelieving parents are not what I call 'thinking atheists'. They have not thought about this stuff; they just do no believe and will say if asked 'There is no God', just as we say there is no Santa, no fairies, fiery dragons or leprechauns.

I actually had a chat with one on a former forum and he saw that 'There is no God' is in fact not a strictly logical claim - as theists make a big deal of pointing out. But I saw that it was nothing more than an expression of disbelief of the 'No Santa' kind when strictly speaking we cannot prove there is no Santa. It just does not seem reasonable and the stories do not make sense.

Thus 'There is no God' is actually reasonable and is nothing to do with atheist fundamentalism or indoctrinating the kids.

In fact the eight -year old son of a friend asked me 'There isn't really any Santa, is there?' Of course I said 'No.' That is not disbelieving fundamentalism or indoctrination. Of course, if he'd have asked me about God, I would have been more cautious in the response, but then I am a 'thinking' atheist.
Yep, exactly. In everyday living people accept that we can make tentative decisions based on incomplete but persuasive evidence in one direction or another. But as soon as you try to use the same standards for god, it turns into a hyper-skeptical "but you haven't searched the entire known universe so how can you come to any conclusion at all" philosophy wibble-fest.

If god were real, it wouldn't need to be protected by that sort of special pleading.
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Old 06-18-2014, 08:15 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Vic 2.0 View Post
But Nozz demands consistency. And I don't consider the bold claim that "There is no god" a dose of reality.
But he does and I do, so (I feel) we both think that disabusing the kid about both monsters (so he can get to sleep at night) and about God -claims (on general principles of honesty) is on the same level, and the amount of potential lost shuteye involved is not the issue.

Of course, I am aware of the 'how can you be sure?' argument. For that matter, I can't prove there isn't an invisible monster under the bed. And of course, the rather more agno-deist (TM) "God" is not the one kid has been warned about, but the more specific god of Christianity and I am as confident that one does not exist as I am of leprechauns, Santa and bed -monsters.

But since those involved ideas are best left to religious debates, 'There is No God' will, as I think I said before, do very well. And I do not think it is indoctrination because I would actually welcome the yougster getting to know the case for an against and, if he or she became persuaded to believe, that would be their choice.
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Old 06-18-2014, 09:08 AM
 
Location: TX
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Originally Posted by AREQUIPA View Post
But he does and I do, so (I feel) we both think that disabusing the kid about both monsters (so he can get to sleep at night) and about God -claims (on general principles of honesty) is on the same level, and the amount of potential lost shuteye involved is not the issue.

Of course, I am aware of the 'how can you be sure?' argument. For that matter, I can't prove there isn't an invisible monster under the bed. And of course, the rather more agno-deist (TM) "God" is not the one kid has been warned about, but the more specific god of Christianity and I am as confident that one does not exist as I am of leprechauns, Santa and bed -monsters.

But since those involved ideas are best left to religious debates, 'There is No God' will, as I think I said before, do very well. And I do not think it is indoctrination because I would actually welcome the yougster getting to know the case for an against and, if he or she became persuaded to believe, that would be their choice.
Why would he bother getting to know the case for belief in any deity (Would this interest even enter his mind?), when he's already been told by dear ol' pop (who has surely elsewise earned his trust, both in regards to honesty and good judgement) that "There isn't a god" from an early age? Again, this is a statement presented as fact. That's different from being 100% honest and saying you don't believe in a god.

As for not distinguishing between telling a kid "There are no monsters under your bed" so they'll sleep better at night, and telling him "There's no god" when he asks for general purposes of discussion/education, what can I say, you must really care just as much about him hearing the latter message as you do about him hearing the former. I just don't understand why.
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Old 06-18-2014, 09:53 AM
 
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I have to say that, rather than the more cautious 'I don't believe there is' I would say 'No'. as well.

If the kid wanted to take it any further 'But they say there is', THEN I would say 'Well I don't think they have a case', and I must consider that the remote deiagnostic fields of sortagod are really not relevant here and are only going crop up when the believers start trying to wangule a sorta- god onto the table with first cause and abiogenesis and cosmic order and the goldilocks zone, none of which is really what 'Dad , is there a god like the guy with the collar on backwards says?' is asking about. It is the specific God of the Bible -religion that is under discussion

And so, 'No' will do very well. The details are best left till later - if they crop up at all and since Deist-god is about as relevant to our daily life as Quantum physics and relativity, if it never crops up at all, that's fine by me, and if you feel that not discussing them with a preteen kid is indoctrination, I have to say that I reckon you are looking for gripes of a rather unreasonable kind.
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Old 06-18-2014, 12:53 PM
 
Location: TX
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I feel that planting the seed that "There is no god" and not clarifying that you mean you think there is no god is fostering a very one-sided view of the matter, and it suggests that you know this when you don't. To an impressionable young child, I think you know the chances of that child just taking your word for it and seeing the god question with a bias from that point forward. While this may not be indoctrination all on its own (I've expressed my curiosity as to what else it could be), I would say it's at the very heart of it, absolutely.

But that's okay. I just figured if most non-believing parents can't volunteer a distinction between fact or faith (or lack thereof), most religious parents haven't a chance, and we can never ask them to try.
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