helping my lids to think critically about religion
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09-09-2017, 10:30 PM
helping my lids 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
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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

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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.

"Let the waters settle and you will see the moon and stars mirrored in your own being." -Rumi
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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.
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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.
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