Deconverting kids that are't your own
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09-08-2012, 07:45 AM
Deconverting kids that are't your own
I have a friend who is Catholic. Very Catholic. And has a four year old daughter. To give you an idea of how my friend grew up, she was sent to a Catholic high school where they taught abstinence only education, went to church twice a week, prayed before eating anything and had Jesus' all over the house on crosses.

Now, she's 22, with a 4 year old, a dead-beat baby-daddy that has three other children with two other women (and refuses to get a job), living in an inner city women's shelter, and about to be kicked out because she can't actually think about not talking about others behind their backs.

Don't get me wrong, I know lots of people with religions that can and do, frequently, think for themselves. My friend is just... unable to. Her daughter is starting preschool in the fall, and unfortunately I live farther away than I would like to be able to train her to ask questions and think outside of just what she's been taught is normal, but I have to ask, and this seems like the right place to do it.

She's my friend and its her daughter and her life, but should I attempt to teach and train her daughter to question everything and actually look at the world around her? Or is it up to parents to teach their children how to think and if the kid comes out of it on their own then they do?
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09-08-2012, 08:31 AM
RE: Deconverting kids that are't your own
It's a little catch.... do anything and you'll potentially lose your friend, and then have everything you said be told to the child as "wrong/evil" and then the child may be "punished" until her soul is clean.

Until the child potentially reaches high school (in a public school most likely, with trained science teachers, so questioning isn't knocked down in the next class) or college (as long as they question, doesn't matter) parents probably wouldn't like people telling their children things, as it may seem to them that you are trying to raise their kids, and saying they are unfit, and potentially knocking down their beliefs on top of it all.


If the daughter asks you questions, I wouldn't even say anything to her that her mother doesn't know already. Even saying the same things that the mother knows, the mother may still "correct" your comments because she may feel that she's "immune to your lies" but her child won't be. Granted you could show neat little science tricks (make water change colors or something) that parents might not think much of--and the children may question the "miracles" in the bible, as they have learned that there are tricks that exist (even better if you could tie something into food or cooking or something--otherwise a magic trick could be "demon magic" despite being grounded in science.

Edit:
Besides, aren't many atheists people who discovered it once they were older? It's not like with religion where if you don't get them young they're "lost", an atheist can be "saved" at any point as long as the person's still living and thinking.
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09-08-2012, 09:11 AM
RE: Deconverting kids that are't your own
(09-08-2012 08:31 AM)elemts Wrote:  Besides, aren't many atheists people who discovered it once they were older? It's not like with religion where if you don't get them young they're "lost", an atheist can be "saved" at any point as long as the person's still living and thinking.

This is very true. But if you listen to the ones who understood things at a later age, they are constantly saying "Why couldn't I see? Why did I waste my life? How was I so ignorant for so long"

I get what you're saying. I have told her that she can ask me anything or talk to me about anything and I'll never lie to her, but I also see the point about my friend hating me for damning her child. Thank you for your input Big Grin

(Though, she really is rather incompetent at being a parent. She's a great mom, don't get me wrong, but she's a terrible parent.)
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09-08-2012, 09:40 AM
RE: Deconverting kids that are't your own
(09-08-2012 09:11 AM)RexyRexaw Wrote:  
(09-08-2012 08:31 AM)elemts Wrote:  Besides, aren't many atheists people who discovered it once they were older? It's not like with religion where if you don't get them young they're "lost", an atheist can be "saved" at any point as long as the person's still living and thinking.

This is very true. But if you listen to the ones who understood things at a later age, they are constantly saying "Why couldn't I see? Why did I waste my life? How was I so ignorant for so long"

I get what you're saying. I have told her that she can ask me anything or talk to me about anything and I'll never lie to her, but I also see the point about my friend hating me for damning her child. Thank you for your input Big Grin

(Though, she really is rather incompetent at being a parent. She's a great mom, don't get me wrong, but she's a terrible parent.)

Teach the kid logic, but avoid religion like the plague. Religion is not a topic. If the kid brings it up, change the subject asap. I grew up that way, being taught logic and having everything explained to me, how things work, how animals live in nature, all kinds of facts. Religion wasn't talked about in a household of closet atheists. I was left to figure out religion by myself and I did discard it at age 10, after a heavy flirtation with catholicism.

If you teach the kid facts, even though you avoid touching on anything religious, you teach her to think. That's all it really takes.

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Science is the process we've designed to be responsible for generating our best guess as to what the fuck is going on. Girly Man
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