helping my kids to think critically about religion
Post Reply
 
Thread Rating:
  • 0 Votes - 0 Average
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
09-09-2017, 10:30 PM (This post was last modified: 11-12-2017 12:09 PM by Dom.)
helping my kids to think critically about religion
I Have been slowly deconverting for years but only in the last year did it finally click I AM ATHEIST. I was raised in a Lutheran church which i can see from my front porch and all my family goes there as well. It is not well received with my mother, father,and sister, however my wife has been understanding. It it an internal struggle when you realize what you were taught your whole life wasn't true. Here's the biggest problem at hand. My 11yo son is to begin catechism tomorrow, so i pulled out my old books and i have a huge pit in my stomach on what he is about to be subjected to. I have agreed not to push my beliefs on him but i do want him to be armed with critical thinking skills that i didn't have when i was taught that crap. If anyone has any information on how i can teach him to think critically about what is said to him and not believe it just because it came from a pastors mouth. Want him to come to his own decisions in time and feel i didn't push them on him I want him armed and brave enough to question the things i would have never thought to question at my catechism. Thanks in advance
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
09-09-2017, 11:00 PM
RE: helping my lids to think critically about religion
Welcome, my older son came to the idea of atheism on his own, I was concerned that I had influenced him. Once he explained his own thought process...

He said one thing I did was to point out myths to him and stories of folklore. And we watched every episode of Star Trek the Next Generation (on Netflix) together. That show sparked all sorts of discussion. More so than any other show we've ever watched together.


But as if to knock me down, reality came around
And without so much as a mere touch, cut me into little pieces

Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 2 users Like Momsurroundedbyboys's post
09-09-2017, 11:00 PM
RE: helping my lids to think critically about religion
Teach him about science. About the natural awe of the world. Teach him about evolution. Teach him about other religions around the globe. Ask him if he believes what they believe. Why or why not. Ask him if he thinks their beliefs sound reasonable. Ask him why he thinks they believe as they do. Teach him about the history of the Bible from a non woo point of view. Bart Ehrman's intro books to the OT and NT are great. Tell him no matter what people teach him in life, it's always okay to question, even when it comes to the Almighty.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 4 users Like jennybee's post
09-09-2017, 11:01 PM
RE: helping my lids to think critically about religion
If you wish to present many ideas, I recommend this book.

A critique of religion and philosophy.

NOTE: Member, Tomasia uses this site to slander other individuals. He then later proclaims it a joke, but not in public.
I will call him a liar and a dog here and now.
Banjo.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 2 users Like Banjo's post
10-09-2017, 05:18 AM
RE: helping my lids to think critically about religion
(09-09-2017 10:30 PM)biscuitjh Wrote:  I Have been slowly deconverting for years but only in the last year did it finally click I AM ATHEIST. I was raised in a Lutheran church which i can see from my front porch and all my family goes there as well. It is not well received with my mother, father,and sister, however my wife has been understanding. It it an internal struggle when you realize what you were taught your whole life wasn't true. Here's the biggest problem at hand. My 11yo son is to begin catechism tomorrow, so i pulled out my old books and i have a huge pit in my stomach on what he is about to be subjected to. I have agreed not to push my beliefs on him but i do want him to be armed with critical thinking skills that i didn't have when i was taught that crap. If anyone has any information on how i can teach him to think critically about what is said to him and not believe it just because it came from a pastors mouth. Want him to come to his own decisions in time and feel i didn't push them on him I want him armed and brave enough to question the things i would have never thought to question at my catechism. Thanks in advance

> This might be a bit cerebral for an 11-year-old, but you might try giving him a copy of this excerpt from a letter on the study of religion which Thomas Jefferson sent to his nephew Peter Carr in 1787. I gave it to a Catholic nephew who was just starting high school and it was instrumental in his eventual atheism:

(Thomas Jefferson's advice on religion to his nephew, Peter Carr, in a letter dated August 10, 1787)

Religion. Your reason is now mature enough to examine this object. In the first place, divest yourself of all bias in favor of novelty and singularity of opinion. Indulge them in any other subject than that of religion. It is too important, and the consequences of error may be too serious. On the other hand, shake off all fears and servile prejudices, under which weak minds are servilely crouched. Fix reason firmly in her seat, and call to her tribunal every fact, every opinion. Question with boldness even the existence of God; because, if there be one, he must more approve of the homage of reason, than that of blindfolded fear.

You will naturally examine first the religion of your own country. Read the Bible then as you would read Livy or Tacitus. The facts which are in the very course of nature, you will believe on the authority of the writer, as you do of the same in Livy or Tacitus. The testimony of the writer weighs in their favor, in one scale, and their not being against the laws of nature, does not weigh against them. But those facts in the Bible that contradict the laws of nature, must be examined with more care, and under a variety of faces. Here you must recur to the pretensions of the writer to inspiration from God. Examine upon what evidence his pretensions are founded, and whether that evidence is so strong, as that its falsehood would be more improbable than a change in the laws of nature, in the case he relates. For example, in the Book of Joshua, we are told, the sun stood still for several hours. Were we to read that fact in Livy or Tacitus, we should class it with showers of blood, speaking statues, beasts, etc. But it is said that the writer of the books is inspired. Examine, therefore, candidly, what evidence there is of his having been inspired. The pretension is entitled to your inquiry, because millions believe it. On the other hand, you are astronomer enough to know how contrary it is to the laws of nature that a body revolving on its axis, as the earth does, should have stopped, should not, by that sudden stoppage, have prostrated animals, trees, buildings, and should after a certain time, have resumed its revolution, and that without a second general prostration. Is this arrest of the earth's motion, or the evidence which affirms it, most within the law of probabilities?

You will next read the New Testament. It is the history of a personage called Jesus. Keep in your eye the opposite pretensions: 1.) of those who say he was begotten by God, born of a virgin, suspended and reversed the laws of nature at will, and ascended bodily into heaven; and 2.) he was a man of illegitimate birth, of a benevolent heart, [and] enthusiastic mind, who set out with pretensions of divinity, ended in believing them, and was punished capitally for sedition, by being gibbeted, according to Roman law, which punished the first commission of that offense by whipping, and the second by exile, or death, in furea...

Do not be frightened from this inquiry by any fear of its consequences. If it ends in a belief that there is no God, you will find incitements to virtue in the comforts and pleasantness you feel in its exercise, and in the love of others it will procure you. If you find there is a reason to believe there is a God, a consciousness that you are acting under his eye, and that he approves you, will be a vast additional incitement; is that there be a future state, the hope of a happy existence in that increases the appetite to deserve it; if that Jesus was also God, you will be comforted by his aid and love.

In fine, I repeat, you must lay aside all prejudices on both sides, and neither believe or reject anything, because any other persons, or description of persons, have rejected or believed it. Your own reason is the only oracle given you by heaven, and you are answerable, not for the rightness, but the uprightness of the decision.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 1 user Likes Gwaithmir's post
11-12-2017, 11:33 AM (This post was last modified: 11-12-2017 11:44 AM by Catharina de Aragon.)
RE: helping my lids to think critically about religion
Wops...That is a difficult situation. I’m sorry you are in it Confused
This...may be stepping on a line on my part, please don't take it personally...but trying to be subtle about this things or "help-make"the child think or do something can be harmful for them, specially if the other half of the family is probably thinking about doing the same thing. In my experience, kids get hurt when their loved ones have conflicting unspoken expectations about them. They pick up cues of approval easily, and if the cues are contradictory in different family members and they don't know why they can get really stressed, because no matter what they do they seem to be failing to someone. Trying to hide how you feel (or how they feel) will only make it worse for the child. We adults aren't such good liars after all, and denying that you are displeased while they feel you clearly are would feel like gaslighting to them. (I may be catastrophizing, but you see what I mean)

If you feel so disgusted about the books and stuff they will learn, I would recommend you need to talk to your partner about it first. Trying to get the kids to "question"the stuff, even with the best of intentions, may turn the kid's brain into the family battlefield.
If I were you, I would talk to the rest of the family and agree with them on what you guys will and will not say or do to him regarding this. Then just stick to that. Certainly the existence of the agreement should be one of the things the kid should know about. One possible agreement that would not ïnvolve"you "pushing your beliefs on the kid"and would also help them question would be just agree with your partner to letting the kid know together: "I do not believe most of what this book/class says is true. Mom/Dad thinks it is though. We agreed to let you decide what you think by yourself after you give it a shot"and leave it as that. Is mellow enough for pretty much any reasonable believer to be okay with letting you say that, and it lets the kid know that belief is an option. Often that is all it takes for critical examination to start, and even if it doesn't start immediately they will always know it is an option and will engage in it when they are ready.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
11-12-2017, 12:35 PM
RE: helping my kids to think critically about religion
I want to thank everyone for their reply. All information and opinions are welcome. I am struggling quite a bit with my new beliefs of being Athiest. Not because of my beliefs and non belies as an atheist but how it ilhas changed relationships with family. And the fear I have of how it would affect other relationships. I want to be open about it but fear of the stigma it brings is too much.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 2 users Like biscuitjh's post
11-12-2017, 12:42 PM
RE: helping my kids to think critically about religion
(09-09-2017 10:30 PM)biscuitjh Wrote:  I Have been slowly deconverting for years but only in the last year did it finally click I AM ATHEIST. I was raised in a Lutheran church which i can see from my front porch and all my family goes there as well. It is not well received with my mother, father,and sister, however my wife has been understanding. It it an internal struggle when you realize what you were taught your whole life wasn't true. Here's the biggest problem at hand. My 11yo son is to begin catechism tomorrow, so i pulled out my old books and i have a huge pit in my stomach on what he is about to be subjected to. I have agreed not to push my beliefs on him but i do want him to be armed with critical thinking skills that i didn't have when i was taught that crap. If anyone has any information on how i can teach him to think critically about what is said to him and not believe it just because it came from a pastors mouth. Want him to come to his own decisions in time and feel i didn't push them on him I want him armed and brave enough to question the things i would have never thought to question at my catechism. Thanks in advance

Just teach your child to think critically. If you do that, then they will come to their own conclusions on everything. If you are trying to teach them to think critically 'about religion', then you are pushing critical though selectively.

I sometimes have passionate arguments with myself that almost come to blows.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 2 users Like Yonadav Kenyon's post
11-12-2017, 02:27 PM
RE: helping my kids to think critically about religion
Tell them directly it’s a bunch of bullshit. WTF they’re your kids.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 1 user Likes I'mFred's post
11-12-2017, 04:41 PM
RE: helping my kids to think critically about religion
(11-12-2017 12:35 PM)biscuitjh Wrote:  I want to thank everyone for their reply. All information and opinions are welcome. I am struggling quite a bit with my new beliefs of being Athiest. Not because of my beliefs and non belies as an atheist but how it ilhas changed relationships with family. And the fear I have of how it would affect other relationships. I want to be open about it but fear of the stigma it brings is too much.

I understand. That must be difficultSadcryface
As in any comming out, do not feel "morally obliged" to do it if it isn't safe or if you aren't ready. If it is more convenient for your mental health to blend with the background for a while you have the right to do so.
Who else shares the custody of the kids and what do they think about this, if you don't mind me asking?
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
Post Reply
Forum Jump: