Beliefs of Children
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02-06-2014, 03:02 AM
Beliefs of Children
Hi, everyone!

I am an born atheist, and never had to struggle with the "coming out of closet" and similar issues that Seth and others spend a lot of effort to encourage. And I would like to recap my childhood, especially since I often hear "only a child will believe in that"...

Well, most of my young childhood, I don't remember and most of this is hearsay from my mum.

Santa Claus; Already at age 2 or 3, I wasn't fooled about Santa Claus, always simply revealing who it really was, and took pride in telling the truth, even if I spoiled the party for all the other kids. "This is teacher Anne's house.", "No it is not. Why do you think so?", "It is her car parked there." and similar.

God; I have the pleasure of having atheist parents. In fact, it goes way back to 19th century, as my grand-father born in 1896 wasn't baptized, almost unheard of at the time. I was told that there are churches, but my parents never degenerated its use or people using them. But they also didn't tell me anything about what religion was, nor that some people "believed in God". Well, I heard that "belief" belonged in church. Whenever anyone in the house said "I believe that...." in common day speak, my dad would retort "Believing is done in the church. Here we think... and ask!"
So, by the time I arrived at school (in Sweden, age 7), I had never heard of God nor Jesus. To the point (according to my mum) that I one day came home and complained to my mum that "The teacher has lost her mind today. She spoke one whole lesson about a guy that walked around in Middle East, 2000 years ago...." Apparently, I wasn't impressed at first and it got worse by every lesson.

Once I got a bit older, I started to point out all the impossibilities and contradictions. Some teachers got angry, and others tried to explain that they only telling us what some people believed... to which I answered "Why don't they think instead?"

Grade 4-6 was a strange period. Our teacher was old (participated in 1936 Hitler olympics!!) and probably highly religious. He conducted prayers every morning, to which I objected. He said I didn't have to pray along. Fine. But he also read from the Old and New Edda (the Viking mythology books) as well as similar stories with Zeus and Apollo. So in retrospect, I am not sure what he was trying to tell us...

In grade 7-9, the subject of religion was broadened to all major religions as well as many primitive ones. But again, I had to make objections when Christianity had a "this is what happened" undertone, whereas for let's say Islam it would be "their scripture says...". I didn't give the religion teacher much slack, and yet she gave me top grade in the subject.

Now, was it enough that my dad hammered in "Don't believe, Think!" often enough, that made me completely unable to believe anything with evidence. Nowadays, I hardly ever use the word "believe", even for simple things. I even get a quiver when people like Dawkins says "I believe that...", since to me the word stands for "I wish for it to be true...". When I think someone is not lying to me, I don't say "I believe you", I say "I think your are telling the truth", "I don't doubt what you say" or similar constructs.

Finally, one more anecdote from my past.

My brother married to a Jehovah's Witness, and she was set to bring up her children to good christians. But they ended up living in our parents' house shortly after the first daughter (Anna) was born, and I was still young. At around age 4, Anna was already asking complicated questions about the world she could experience. And over a few weeks(!), she went from her mum to me and back, pitting our answers against each other. "But mum says that god created the world in 6 days...", "Niclas says that isn't true, because we know the world is much older and was formed over billions of years...." and it ended with a 4 year old breaking the ties with her mum. Started to call her own mum by first name (not so with dad) until this day (30 years later) and their relationship has been strained as a result. Needless to say, Anna went on to studied genetics and have no religious tendencies since then. It seems that she also influenced her younger siblings, since they are also not buying mum's delusions (without me meddling).
Some people blame me from interfering in child-rearing. But I stand by my choice of never, ever lying to children for any reasons at all. Especially, when it is about frighten them into compliance.

Now, when people on The Thinking Atheist show keep saying that "only children believe", I am starting to dislike that statement. Children that are not threaten by beatings, will not "believe". They question, double-check and if the answers don't hold water, they call you out on it. I am convinced that physical Child Abuse is required to beat a religion into children. Perhaps there are exceptions to this, where parents manages to block all information from becoming available, but I think that is only temporary, and many of the people who become atheists later in life were in this category...

Anyway, I hope you all enjoy hearing a "happy tale" from someone who hasn't been faced with any negative complications of being an atheist ever. In fact, being a pacifist has been much harder.

Peace!!
Niclas
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02-06-2014, 03:24 AM
RE: Beliefs of Children
Welcome aboard.

Lots to digest there. I suspect you'll have lots to say in the future too. Smile

A happy tale, indeed (except for your sis-in-law, I suspect). Good to have you here.

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02-06-2014, 03:37 AM
RE: Beliefs of Children
Welcome to the forum! Most children do have a tendency to believe what they are told. They also have a tendency to ask questions which can be difficult to answer. Perhaps you saw through it because your were encouraged to question by your parents from the beginning rather than told that it was wrong?
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02-06-2014, 04:15 AM
RE: Beliefs of Children
Welcome, here is your welcome gecko

[Image: BabyGecko_002_Web.jpg]

[Image: Guilmon-41189.gif] https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCOW_Ioi2wtuPa88FvBmnBgQ my youtube
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02-06-2014, 10:32 PM
RE: Beliefs of Children
Hello and welcome Niclas!

It's easier to fool people than to convince them that they have been fooled. ~Mark Twain
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04-06-2014, 05:27 AM
Re: RE: Beliefs of Children
(02-06-2014 04:15 AM)ThePaleolithicFreethinker Wrote:  Welcome, here is your welcome gecko

[Image: BabyGecko_002_Web.jpg]

Hi there. May I ask? What is the rationale for the welcoming gecko? Is there a reason or just a random thing? I am curious.
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04-06-2014, 05:55 AM
RE: Beliefs of Children
(04-06-2014 05:27 AM)rizzzzzzzzzzzz Wrote:  
(02-06-2014 04:15 AM)ThePaleolithicFreethinker Wrote:  Welcome, here is your welcome gecko

[Image: BabyGecko_002_Web.jpg]

Hi there. May I ask? What is the rationale for the welcoming gecko? Is there a reason or just a random thing? I am curious.

Anyone who does not worship the gecko will be assimilated through their computer screen... it's just a way of ensuring our forum purity. Since you managed to post after seeing the gecko you obviously also worship it secretly, even if you're unaware.

We'll love you just the way you are
If you're perfect -- Alanis Morissette
(06-02-2014 03:47 PM)Momsurroundedbyboys Wrote:  And I'm giving myself a conclusion again from all the facepalming.
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04-06-2014, 06:10 AM
Re: RE: Beliefs of Children
(04-06-2014 05:55 AM)morondog Wrote:  
(04-06-2014 05:27 AM)rizzzzzzzzzzzz Wrote:  Hi there. May I ask? What is the rationale for the welcoming gecko? Is there a reason or just a random thing? I am curious.

Anyone who does not worship the gecko will be assimilated through their computer screen... it's just a way of ensuring our forum purity. Since you managed to post after seeing the gecko you obviously also worship it secretly, even if you're unaware.

Haha. That is original! Ok I am in!
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04-06-2014, 06:13 AM
RE: Beliefs of Children
All of us, all of us, all of us...
Welcome, niclas
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04-06-2014, 09:21 PM
RE: Beliefs of Children
Hello, Niclas. I am fairly impressed when you said:

Quote:When I think someone is not lying to me, I don't say "I believe you", I say "I think your are telling the truth"

An interesting little difference in the choosing of words, a big disparity between the two ways of thinking (if the religious one qualifies as thinking).

Wonderful to have you here.

[Image: bee3ef62gw1ef7zax9i91g201e01eq2z.gif]

Want something? Then do something.
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