Atheists not raising their kids as atheists
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02-12-2014, 01:11 PM
Atheists not raising their kids as atheists
I keep seeing atheists with kids online talking about how they let their kids "decide for themselves" and "teach them to think, not to be atheists" and various other things like that.

And I was just wondering; why?

I'd get agnostics acting like this, but I'm pretty sure the very act of being an atheist implies viewing lack of god as a fact. The grand majority of us have searched high and low looking for any possible indication a god truly exists and found squat. So why the reluctance to tell kids factual information? It's not anymore forcing something on them than it would be to tell them the sky is blue.

Best I can figure we're just really desperate to not act like the theists, but...yeah, it's still a fact. Facts shouldn't be shied away from just because other people teach their kids their delusions.

Popcorn I put more thought into fiction than theists put into reality.
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02-12-2014, 01:15 PM
RE: Atheists not raising their kids as atheists
The main reason that I can think of is because you want your kids to be atheists because they chose it, not because they were taught it. The former is much stronger and far less vulnerable to indoctrination attempts by theists.

I am not accountable to any God. I am accountable to myself - and not because I think I am God as some theists would try to assert - but because, no matter what actions I take, thoughts I think, or words I utter, I have to be able to live with myself.
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02-12-2014, 01:20 PM
RE: Atheists not raising their kids as atheists
(02-12-2014 01:11 PM)CleverUsername Wrote:  I keep seeing atheists with kids online talking about how they let their kids "decide for themselves" and "teach them to think, not to be atheists" and various other things like that.

And I was just wondering; why?

I'd get agnostics acting like this, but I'm pretty sure the very act of being an atheist implies viewing lack of god as a fact. The grand majority of us have searched high and low looking for any possible indication a god truly exists and found squat. So why the reluctance to tell kids factual information? It's not anymore forcing something on them than it would be to tell them the sky is blue.

Best I can figure we're just really desperate to not act like the theists, but...yeah, it's still a fact. Facts shouldn't be shied away from just because other people teach their kids their delusions.

The difference is between indoctrinating and educating.

I don't tell my young relatives that I am right and they must believe me, I explain why I believe I'm right and show the evidence.
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02-12-2014, 01:30 PM
RE: Atheists not raising their kids as atheists
(02-12-2014 01:20 PM)Rik Wrote:  
(02-12-2014 01:11 PM)CleverUsername Wrote:  I keep seeing atheists with kids online talking about how they let their kids "decide for themselves" and "teach them to think, not to be atheists" and various other things like that.

And I was just wondering; why?

I'd get agnostics acting like this, but I'm pretty sure the very act of being an atheist implies viewing lack of god as a fact. The grand majority of us have searched high and low looking for any possible indication a god truly exists and found squat. So why the reluctance to tell kids factual information? It's not anymore forcing something on them than it would be to tell them the sky is blue.

Best I can figure we're just really desperate to not act like the theists, but...yeah, it's still a fact. Facts shouldn't be shied away from just because other people teach their kids their delusions.

The difference is between indoctrinating and educating.

I don't tell my young relatives that I am right and they must believe me, I explain why I believe I'm right and show the evidence.

My step-son was a Christian when I met him. He questioned me one day about what I believed and I told him then that I have no beliefs in any gods, and explained why. He questioned me more, and I then educated him in the history of Christianity and he began to understand it.

He is now an atheist.

How can anyone become an atheist when we are all born with no beliefs in the first place? We are atheists because we were born this way.
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02-12-2014, 01:35 PM
RE: Atheists not raising their kids as atheists
Well, I'm an atheist because I don't think there's any evidence supporting the existence of a higher power. I would rather my son become one because he agrees the evidence is lacking, not because he agrees with me. There's a difference.

One of my chief problems with religion is it sinks it fangs of indoctrination into children at a very young age - poisoning most of their minds for a lifetime. Most kids who believe in a god do so not because the concept makes any sense at all, but because they trust their parents. Then they become so used to the idea that they "believe it" well into adulthood without really ever asking themselves why. So my goal is to teach my son to be honest about his own thoughts, instincts, and inclinations, to "go with his gut" on religion and anything else. If he asks directly I'll tell him I don't believe a higher power exists, but that I don't want him to agree with ANY philosophy or worldview, including mine, without trying to work it out for himself first.
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02-12-2014, 02:10 PM
RE: Atheists not raising their kids as atheists
If you properly teach a kid how to think, they're going to be an atheist. Besides, telling a kid that a lack of a god is fact... Doesn't seem to support critical thinking in the first place. Gnostic atheist isn't exactly considering the possibility, however slight, that there COULD be a god (or a flying spaghetti monster).
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02-12-2014, 02:41 PM
RE: Atheists not raising their kids as atheists
(02-12-2014 01:11 PM)CleverUsername Wrote:  I keep seeing atheists with kids online talking about how they let their kids "decide for themselves" and "teach them to think, not to be atheists" and various other things like that.

And I was just wondering; why?

I'd get agnostics acting like this, but I'm pretty sure the very act of being an atheist implies viewing lack of god as a fact. The grand majority of us have searched high and low looking for any possible indication a god truly exists and found squat. So why the reluctance to tell kids factual information? It's not anymore forcing something on them than it would be to tell them the sky is blue.

Best I can figure we're just really desperate to not act like the theists, but...yeah, it's still a fact. Facts shouldn't be shied away from just because other people teach their kids their delusions.

This is what my parents did with me and my siblings. They let us decide for ourselves. Out of my 4 siblings, 3 are atheist and one is a theist but she's the crazy one so....it figures.

Shakespeare's Comedy of Errors.... on Donald J. Trump:

He is deformed, crooked, old, and sere,
Ill-fac’d, worse bodied, shapeless every where;
Vicious, ungentle, foolish, blunt, unkind,
Stigmatical in making, worse in mind.
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02-12-2014, 02:47 PM
RE: Atheists not raising their kids as atheists
Children learn more by what is caught than what is taught. Children can see hypocrisy in believing or atheist parents just as they can see sincerity.

I'm told atheists on forums like TTA are bitter and angry. If you are not, your posts to me will be respectful, insightful and thoughtful. Prove me wrong by your adherence to decent behavior.
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02-12-2014, 03:07 PM
RE: Atheists not raising their kids as atheists
(02-12-2014 02:10 PM)WeAreTheCosmos Wrote:  If you properly teach a kid how to think, they're going to be an atheist. Besides, telling a kid that a lack of a god is fact... Doesn't seem to support critical thinking in the first place. Gnostic atheist isn't exactly considering the possibility, however slight, that there COULD be a god (or a flying spaghetti monster).

We tell them things don't exist without worrying about damaging their critical thinking or considering the ridiculously tiny possibilty we're wrong all the time, though.

That's what's bugging me about this mentality, I think, it's making a special set of rules for religion (again).

Unless I'm just really out of the loop and it's actually typical for parents to tell their children there's a chance fairies/unicorns/monsters/etc. exist and they should figure it out themselves.

Popcorn I put more thought into fiction than theists put into reality.
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02-12-2014, 03:38 PM
RE: Atheists not raising their kids as atheists
(02-12-2014 01:20 PM)Rik Wrote:  The difference is between indoctrinating and educating.

Exactly. As an agnostic atheist, this is how I'd evaluate the following statements:

Indoctrination: "No gods exist."

Education: "There is no non-presuppositional evidence any gods exist."


As Impulse mentioned, it would leave the kids in a better position to defend their beliefs against others. Also, I feel it's more honest of a stance to take.
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