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Old 05-06-2014, 02:57 AM
 
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Insults demean only the insulter, never the target. You can drop the "insane" insulting comments thanks.

I simply do not share your pessimism. That does not call my sanity into question.
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Old 05-06-2014, 08:06 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WSPHXPELON View Post
My son is 5 years old. Ever since he was born I have been asking myself how I am going to educate him in regard to religion...My wife's side of the family are fairly Catholic. My mother-in-law had my son baptized when he was a baby (I did not protest). Well, I had finally decided that what I would tell my son regarding "God" would be that I would just avoid the subject and/or "play it off" like I was a believer when the subject came up...

Well, today, for the first time ever, my son started asking me questions about God. I just couldn't make myself betray my son by feeding him lies. I told him the truth, that God, "is not real"; and I explained that some people believe very strongly that God does exist but that my personal belief which I feel to be true is that God does not exist.

Well, he was okay with it. He said, "Okay, God isn't real. Only Santa Claus is real and he is the one that takes care of us, right?" So, I had already broken the news to him about God (the big lie), so I broke the news to him about Santa Claus as well. I told him that Santa Claus is not real either and that the presents are from me and my wife. I told him that the only people that will "take care of us", are us; and that is why we must be good people and value and appreciate each other and our families. He seemed very understanding and none of it seemed to upset him the slightest.

Long story short, did I just mess up?? Should I have let the facade carried on for years??

What do you think? How have you handled raising children being an Atheist? Please just share some thoughts on this topic because it has really been bothering me....
I think you did very well and should be proud that you told him the truth.
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Old 05-06-2014, 01:23 PM
 
Location: Texas
43,576 posts, read 52,749,647 times
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Originally Posted by Matt Marcinkiewicz View Post
Those other cultures might not do Santa, but they surely do religion or traditional cultural myths of some sort. There is no society in existence entirely devoted to the pursuit of fostering the development of the most rational progeny that is possible to produce. I'd submit that kids need some level of "brainwashing" even if it be of the secular variety (Santa, tooth fairy, et al), because reality in and of itself is ugly. You see the pretty fireflies and the coral, I see "nature red in tooth and claw". That's about what I ever see. I don't project my own views on others, but if others were to be brought up with the most rational worldview possible, would they be the better for it? I doubt it.
Sure every culture has religious thoughts, etc. But some of them do not espouse actual beings manifesting themselves and wandering around among us on earth. Some merely live as distant myth and parable you can learn from.
You see the difference?
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Old 05-06-2014, 03:00 PM
 
Location: Northeastern US
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Originally Posted by Nozzferrahhtoo View Post
My doubts however are not as pessimistic as yours. You present "pretty fireflies and coral" and "Red in tooth and claw" as being almost polar opposites on the optimism scale by default. I however see them as being on the same point of the scale. I see no less beauty in the process of "red claw" evolution than I do in the majestic tree outside my window right now.

You may be in danger of extrapolating an impression of such a rational society from little more than your OWN inherent pessimism. A pessimism I thankfully see little reason to think is shared widely enough to be feared in such a society. I have more faith in humanity and its ability to find joy in life than that.
I suppose that I am somewhere in between you and Matt on this issue. I believe that a significant portion of humanity is capable of regarding bare-metal reality without slitting their wrists in response. I think that a significant portion is not, which is why religion and other diversions are still fairly popular.

I also think that in time the number of people able to function without substantial illusions will go up. If only because of natural selection.

Most of my disappointments with life came from childhood indoctrination that set my expectations somewhere over the moon, combined with living in the wealthiest, most technologically advance civilization in the history of our species. There are plenty of people all over the planet who have nothing but "red in tooth and claw" staring them in the face but still manage to find things to look forward to. This tells me that your typical h. sapiens can get along on a lot less than either Matt or I can get our brains around.
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Old 05-06-2014, 10:31 PM
 
Location: 'greater' Buffalo, NY
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Originally Posted by stan4 View Post
Sure every culture has religious thoughts, etc. But some of them do not espouse actual beings manifesting themselves and wandering around among us on earth. Some merely live as distant myth and parable you can learn from.
You see the difference?
Statistics say that the least religious nation-state might be China. However, given their traditions and whatnot, many of which are prevalent to this day, I assume Scandinavia (Norway, Sweden, Finland, Denmark) is the least, uh, superstitious. I'd be curious to know what the average Swedish 7-year-old knows/thinks about life. France, Czech Republic, Estonia are up there for atheism according to the one EuroBarometer poll that Wikipedia uses as its reference point, so I'd be curious to know about those societies as well, as for what the kids think these days.
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Old 05-07-2014, 12:34 AM
 
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Originally Posted by mordant View Post
I suppose that I am somewhere in between you and Matt on this issue. I believe that a significant portion of humanity is capable of regarding bare-metal reality without slitting their wrists in response. I think that a significant portion is not, which is why religion and other diversions are still fairly popular.
Again I am not so sure, but we can never know until such a project is undertaken. Perhaps the people you feel can not cope are the ones that simply have never had to. If you give a child crutches from birth and then only at 30 remove them and ask them to walk on their own, they will fail. I feel it is similar here.

Children are full of wonder and joy at the world around them and the society we have divests them of that over time. For some we replace this with the mythical lies of theism in order to give meaning to their lives rather than trusting them to find it alone.

I think your pessimism above is founded in seeing such people and imagining them trans-placed into the kind of society we are discussing here. Like removing the crutches they have never lived without, such people would indeed fall over.

Where you and I likely differ however is I am not envisioning current citizens trans-placed into such a society. But fresh new citizens brought up in it.

The simple factual evidence that we can go on I guess is that the world is punctuated heavily enough with atheists who are entirely divested of theistic fantasy support structures. And their ability to find joy and meaning in life is no less powerful than their theist counterparts. So anyone suffering from an over abundance of theoretical pessimism on the topic need only glance to see that the reality around them does not match the pessimistic representation of said reality they are allowing worry them in their heads.
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Old 05-07-2014, 12:54 AM
 
Location: 'greater' Buffalo, NY
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nozzferrahhtoo View Post

Children are full of wonder and joy at the world around them and the society we have divests them of that over time. For some we replace this with the mythical lies of theism in order to give meaning to their lives rather than trusting them to find it alone.

I think your pessimism above is founded in seeing such people and imagining them trans-placed into the kind of society we are discussing here. Like removing the crutches they have never lived without, such people would indeed fall over.

Where you and I likely differ however is I am not envisioning current citizens trans-placed into such a society. But fresh new citizens brought up in it.

The simple factual evidence that we can go on I guess is that the world is punctuated heavily enough with atheists who are entirely divested of theistic fantasy support structures. And their ability to find joy and meaning in life is no less powerful than their theist counterparts. So anyone suffering from an over abundance of theoretical pessimism on the topic need only glance to see that the reality around them does not match the pessimistic representation of said reality they are allowing worry them in their heads.
Speaking for myself, although from having read perhaps 1,000 of his posts, I do think that mordant also tends quite a bit in my direction, I observe the world as I alone observe it. I am an atheist but I do not care at all how other atheists observe the world--I am rather arrogant, and I think I see the world better than anyone, atheist or not. So whether atheists such as yourself tend to retain their native optimism and see the world as a "place of temporarily inhabited/fleeting wonder" or somesuch--that does not concern me. Well, sociologically and psychologically, sure, it concerns me, but philosophically, no. I attempt to see the world for what it is, and all I see is a cluster**** of an "orderly" yet chaotic interplay of meaningless struggles to survive, most of which are futile in the short-term, all of which are futile in the long-term, and all of which are dependent on the failure of other organisms (intraspecies and interspecies alike) in order to succeed in the quest for access to limited resources. Period.

Last edited by Matt Marcinkiewicz; 05-07-2014 at 01:03 AM..
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Old 05-07-2014, 01:04 AM
 
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So all you really are telling me in the post above is that you think you are better than everyone else. Fine, if you say so, but I am not buying this. I certainly have seen no evidence of it and would point out the sheer unwarranted arrogance of it, had you not already done so yourself so openly and honestly.

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.

Our inability to ground such optimism in objectivity in no way dilutes the optimism for such people. Just you it seems and a minority cohort.
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Old 05-07-2014, 01:07 AM
 
Location: 'greater' Buffalo, NY
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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 do not dispute this fact, actually. Pray tell what sort of mental gymnastics are required to suppress the cognitive dissonance that should surely overwhelm should one attempt the above undertaking.
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Old 05-07-2014, 01:27 AM
 
7,802 posts, read 5,288,132 times
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Originally Posted by Matt Marcinkiewicz View Post
I do not dispute this fact, actually. Pray tell what sort of mental gymnastics are required to suppress the cognitive dissonance that should surely overwhelm should one attempt the above undertaking.
It is your assertion, not mind, that it "should" overwhelm anything. I simply see no reason to think it should. So I see no required gymnastics to over come something I see no reason to think will happen.

And as I said in an above post... you appear too obsessed with the theory and are not parsing it through the reality around you. The reality is the majority of atheists are very aware of the harsh reality.... and they operate perfectly well and perfectly happy in the light of it.

So you are ruminating on how you feel the reality should be without parsing this through the actual reality around you and noting the disparity that belies the failure in your ruminations.

Moderator cut: response to a since deleted post

Last edited by Miss Blue; 05-07-2014 at 09:54 AM..
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